As far as folk in the ‘Verse are concerned, traveling the black means traveling between the worlds and moons of a single star cluster. Maybe in the future someone will come up with ships that can make it to other stars in less than a lifetime. (But don’t that sound like science fiction?) For now, it’s hard enough sailing between a small group of planets and stars. To get us through the basics, read the following information, courtesy of Christopher Rush of the Celestine Engineering University, Osiris.
Spacecraft are made for interplanetary voyages. They travel a lot slower than the speed of light, taking anywhere from hours to weeks to reach their destination. If you search the history of Earth- That-Was for a parallel, you’ll find it’s somewhat like the days of steamship travel, when sailing from Marseilles to London was a relatively short, safe trip, while rounding the Cape of Good Hope to California could be long and risky—and China might as well have been on another planet. Sad to say, though, space is even less forgiving than a stormy ocean. Make one wrong move, and you could be sucking vacuum instead of just taking a swim.
No matter the risks (or mayhap because of them), there have always been brave souls who sail the black. To understand these folk, what they do, how they do it, and how they live, you need to give ship technology a moment’s consideration.