A sleeper ship was an interstellar vessel capable of achieving faster than light travel, via rudimentary dimensional drive technology, while its inhabitants were kept in a state of suspended animation. Typical speeds made travel between distant stars last decades or centuries, well beyond a normal Human lifespan, possible.
Up to that time, Coruscanti Humans used generation ships. They learned the technology to construct sleeper ships from their Rakatan overlords while Coruscant was a part of the Infinite Empire circa 30,000 BBY. The technology was made feasible with the discovery of carbonite ore in the Koros system.
When the Empire fell, the sleeper ships contributed to the colonization of other star systems before the invention of hyperspace technology. The Core was settled by Humans from Coruscant with this technology, as were the Outer Rim worlds of Argai, Barseg, and those of the Tion Cluster, and even Csilla in the Unknown Regions.
A different type of sleeper ship was constructed by the Settled Worlds of the Tython system during their pre-Republic isolation, and launched from the planet Furies Gate. These ships attempted to reach the rest of the galaxy, but were not heard from once they left.
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- Sleeper ship on Wikipedia