The Warp Gate is the major method of intra-solar travel in the world of Cowboy Bebop. People can use the gates, operated by the Gate Corporation, similar to how we use toll highways.

Per the interview with Shoji Kawamori, creator of the gate concept (US Release: DVD 2, Japanese Release: Session 0), they were devised as a way to eliminate multi-month travel between planets, while avoiding a cliche warp drive type universe. The basic operating method of the gates is not actually defined, but operates on the stretching of space, through hyperspace, attaching one point to another. As Kawamori explains it, the space traveled is compressed down to 1/240th of it's actual size, so if there were 240 units between you and Mars:

|................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................|

You would, while in hyperspace, travel only:

|.|

One unit.

This of course expands to fit the distance. For every 240 units between you and your destination, you would have to move one unit (and vice versa).

Kawamori explains the warp gates as being similar to a frame of animation vs the lines separating each frame. The separating line is much smaller than each actual frame, and by crossing that line you could cross the entire frame.

Rules of the Warp Gates:

1. You can maneuver inside warp gates. Weapons fire can, and does, occur inside the gates. (Boogie Woogie Feng Shui, Gateway Shuffle)
2. Physical objects cannot enter or leave hyperspace except through entry/exit gates.(Boogie Woogie Feng Shui, Gateway Shuffle)
3. If an object passes an entry/exit gate while it is closed, it will remain sealed in hyperspace. While it is visible to the naked eye, it cannot interact with physical objects outside hyperspace.(Gateway Shuffle)
4. Prolonged contact with the walls of the hyperspace tunnel will damage the contacting vehicle. (Boogie Woogie Feng Shui)
5. Unusual electromagnetic disturbances can create anomalies inside hyperspace that can potentially trap a vehicle.(Boogie Woogie Feng Shui)
6. Broadcast transmissions from inside hyperspace can be picked up by receivers outside. (Gateway Shuffle)
7. Through the use of guidance rings, the path a certain hyperspace tunnel takes can be curved, although this curvature is not perceptible to those inside.

Facts about the Warp Gates:

The warp gates have a critical flaw, apparently one dangerous enough that the inventor of the Gates is unsure about their safety. What this flaw is, though, only the crew of the Bebop and the Gate Corporation know. (Bohemian Rhapsody)

The explosion of an experimental Gateway in 2022 caused major damage to the moon and the earth, resulting in a considerable percentage of the moon's mass to be lost, and utterly destroying the existing civilization on earth. As a result, man mostly left earth (now barely habitable due to frequent large meteor strikes), and colonized the inner planets and moons of Jupiter, and has little to no information as to what occured on earth prior to that event.

Warp Gates exist over the entire solar system, reaching from Venus to Pluto.

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