Gate Space, or as it more formally known the Foyer of God, is a dimension separate from our own. Very little about it is understood by anyone other than The Church, and more specifically their Holy Order known as the Gatekeepers.
It is the understanding of the lay peoples that Gate Space is a dimension of pure light that, while parallel to our dimension, does not conform in anyway to our perception of distance or space. This difference in spatial relationship allows the Gatekeepers to pilot their Church Carriers a relatively short distance through Gate Space, but cover thousands of lightyears in real space. In order to facilitate the crossing between our space and Gate Space the Gatekeepers use large rings anchored in our space known as Heaven’s Gates. It is believed that the Heaven’s Gates exist in both our dimension and Gate Space simultaneously, but how they do this is well beyond the knowledge of common men.
Travel through Gate Space has become common in the current times, but it is still one of the most potentially dangerous activities possible. Gate Space has one incredibly significant caveat; it causes any non-Gatekeeper who remains conscious while in Gate Space to be driven irrevocably insane, a condition referred to as Awestruck. The only way for non-gatekeepers to travel through the Gate Space is in an unconscious near-death state that is achieved through the usage of Stasis Pods.
What causes the Awestruck condition is a bit of a mystery, but according to the Gatekeepers it is the presence of God and The Holy Host touching the mind directly. The Church has decreed that Gate Space is directly connected to Heaven itself, and that only the most faithful and pure men can tolerate the direct presence of God. This is why God apparently acted through signs and portents (Burning bushes, Glimmering lights, Angelic intermediaries, etc.) when communicating with man in Biblical times.
Gate Space is considered to be the most Holy of Holy Grounds that mankind can reach while still alive, and although unconscious while traveling through it, many pilgrims save their entire lives to have the chance to travel through it at least once. Before anyone enters Gate Space there are required to be anointed by a Gatekeeper, and receive Holy Communion. All persons are sealed into their Stasis Pods by the Gatekeepers, and are not awakened until they arrive in real space. Before any pod is opened the Gatekeepers make a study of the individuals within, to determine if the pod malfunctioned and the person within is now Awestruck.
The companies that make the Stasis Pods try to make assurances that the pods are safe, but even with their constant refinements it is not uncommon for them to fail, and effectively kill the person within. Anytime the Gatekeepers determine that someone is Awestruck that person and their pod is removed from the ship, and taken away before the crew of the ship is awakened. Last rites and a funeral are then performed symbolically with the surviving crew members present, but no body. Detractors against The Church make note of how most accidental Awestrucks are also known to oppose or speak out against The Church.