I am on a spacecraft as it makes a journey between two planets. I use a lightpulse to measure the distance before I set off, I then accelerate to a speed that is close to the speed of light and measure the distance again. I find that the distance when I am stationary (relative to the planets) is much grater than it is when I am moving very fast. I think I understand the equations for length contraction, but I have a few nagging questions.... Does space 'actually' contract for the fast moving craft, relative to the planet? And is space considered to be a separate entity to matter and energy?