An Astral Gate was a device created by the Gate Public Corporation through its Hyperspace Gate Project to enable travel through hyperspace within the Solar System. They made interplanetary travel possible within a matter of hours, a feat not achievable before their inception.
The underlying technology of the Astral Gates is that of Spatial Alternation Dynamics, based on the theory that our universe phases in and out of existence every 1/48 second, blinking on and off like a strobe light. While our universe is "off," it is temporarily replaced by a more compact universe called Phase Difference Space, which is 1/240th the size of our universe. By timing the entry and exit just right, it is therefore possible to travel 240 times faster within Phase Difference Space, which creates the illusion of extremely high-speed travel in our universe. For example, a journey from Earth to Mars takes 13-24 hours using an Astral Gate, while the same journey could potentially take six months without one. 
The gates charged a toll on all traffic through the gates.  As a ship passed through, a communication would come to each ship to announce destination and gate fare.  The gates could be shut down while ships were in transit. In this case, the ship would forever be stuck in hyperspace, regardless of whether the gates were reopened. Those on the outside of the gate would see a transparent image of the ship coming out, though it is only an image. 
The first Gate was built in 2021. In what came to be known as the Astral Gate accident, Earth's Astral Gate malfunctioned and exploded, destroying the Moon and killing a significant fraction of Earth's inhabitants. As a result, planet Earth was rendered almost uninhabitable, with ongoing rock showers from the falling debris. The majority of humans have since abandoned the Earth and settled on other planets and satellites in the Solar System. 
Over the next few decades, more gates were built and eventually they were deemed stable enough for travel. As a result, colonization increased and food was much cheaper and more available. This also decreased reliance on regional foods like the Ganymede Sea Rat. 
Unbeknownst to the public, the Astral Gates were prone to security breaches, most notably when 20 unrelated thieves and one criminal mastermind hacked into bank scans on the gates and stole Woolongs from unsuspecting travelers. 
Public gates Edit
Dark Gates Edit
Dark Gates are travel routes kept secret from the public, and used by organized criminals. A special device is required to navigate these hyperspace areas.