From Serenity to Prometheus; from the Millennium Falcon to the U.S.S Enterprise; have you ever wondered which spaceship from science fiction is the fastest? Most star ships in science fiction are quite speedy, so the characters can get from one place to the next without missing a beat. Now the good people at Slate have put together a very impressive list, pitting many famous spaceships against each other in a race for hyperspace bragging rights. The results may surprise you. Although there are some inconsistencies in various science fiction mythologies, the list is based on computer simulations and fan speculation.
The starting point for all of the ships is Earth, and their include Alpha Centauri, which is the closest star to Earth at 4.2 light years away, and the Andromeda Galaxy, which is about 2.5 million light years away.
It seems like the fastest vessels in all of science fiction are the TARDIS from Doctor Who and the Heart of Gold from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The travel time for both is almost instantaneous. They have the ability to travel from one end of the galaxy to another in mere seconds, if that. The Heart of Gold runs on the infinite improbability drive, which is “a wonderful new method of crossing vast interstellar distances in a mere nothingth of a second,” according to Douglas Adams.
The runner-up is, surprisingly, the Planet Express Ship from Futurama. It runs on Nibbler-produced dark matter and pulls the Universe around it, rather than traveling through space itself, at 200 percent fuel efficiency. One of the benefits of being a package delivery service is having one of the speediest spaceships in the Universe.
According to Slate, the slowest spaceships in science fiction are the Jupiter 2 from TV’s Lost In Space and the Serenity from Firefly. As shown in the episode “Out of Gas,” Serenity wasn’t built for long, interstellar trips.
You can check out the complete list of speedy spaceships, with a pretty nifty interactive infographic, over at Slate.