Roughly two centuries ago, a scientist found a method of exploiting zero point energy. He did this using a special contraption which supposedly is able to connect with energy which is nearly nonexistent in this plane. The machine was roughly the size of a standard computer, and produced miniscule amounts of energy, amounting to one watt or less. For a public demonstration, he rigged up roughly one hundred of this machines - managing to illuminate a light bulb for roughly 10 seconds before the entire setup failed. The project was declared a failure by multiple publications, with some even calling it an elaborate hoax, saying that the machines could be just numerous generators. While this project was scrapped by multiple companies after the failure of the first few prototypes, an independent scientist moved on further with the research. This 'renegade' scientist left this world before he finished his work, but he had managed to recreate the device about 100 times smaller. 10 years after his death, in the year 2846 AD, a young scientist of unknown origin named Julia Rose Nielsen continued this research to find a way to compress this device further into a thin wafer measuring no more than 1 centimetre each side.
She made her first public demonstration using the technology in the 2853 AD. Using a 1 metre by 1 metre thin sheet placed on a table, she managed to generate roughly 7 kilowatts for about 10 seconds. After that, it was demonstrated using a special tool used to elevate the sheet. As long as movement was continued, the energy producing sheet was capable of producing an output of roughly 8 kilowatts, after using the energy to power the elevation device, without ever stopping for any reason. This discovery accelerated the advancement of space travel by allowing energy to be generated in massive amounts without the need of fuel or a light source.
Through technology exchange, Earth acquired hyperspace drive technology from the Kanri system. This marked the beginning of a new era in the Terra system: the era of intergalactic trade. All of this had led to this point in time - or at least that's what our history databases say.