The wormhole drive creates an artificial wormhole similar to that used by the Stargates, but with the exception that the wormhole does not require objects at either end for power or navigation, but rather the wormhole is sustained by the ship travelling through it. Because the ship using the drive—namely Atlantis—is shielded from the vacuum inside the wormhole, there is no need for a deconstruction/reconstruction interface at either end. This drive allows the vessel to travel between or throughout galaxies almost instantaneously. However, the technology was abandoned by the Ancients due to its instability, the astronomical power requirements, and the complexity of the calculations (which if off by even a fraction would instantly vaporize the vessel using the drive). Radek Zelenka was able to complete Rodney McKay's calculations in order to perform a jump to Earth after Atlantis' hyperdrive failed at the edge of the Milky Way. (SGA: "Enemy at the Gate")
Sheppard and Teyla later discuss with Colonel Samantha Carter the possibility of Atlantis returning to the Pegasus galaxy. Carter tells them that the wormhole drive burned out and they can't repair it as some of its parts they don't even have names for let alone know how to replace. However, she tells them that Atlantis' hyperdrive is repairable with enough work as it has comparable components to an Asgard hyperdrive and is thus just a matter of customizing components rather than trying to replace ones they don't understand. (SGA: "Legacy: Homecoming")
Behind the scenesEdit
- Paul Mullie revealed that this drive was created simply as a means of getting Atlantis instantly to Earth. Though Brad Wright initially intended to incorporate the drive into the Stargate Universe series, it was planned to be used in the canceled Atlantis movie Stargate: Extinction.