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On the fast track.

Talk about the fast lane! The jet-powered Thrust Supersonic Car recently set the first supersonic (faster-than-sound) world speed record on land. The car tore at an average speed of 763.035 miles per hour (1,228 kph) in Nevada's Black Rock Desert -- one of America's longest stretches of open land. Sound travels at about 750 mph (1,200 kph), so the SSC broke the sound barrier by 13 mph.

How did Thrust achieve this incredible feat? Equipped with two 110,000-horsepower Rolls-Royce engines (taken from a fighter jet), the 10-ton car equals the power of 1,000 average cars. Those super engines crank so much power that Thrust can zoom faster on ground than most commercial jets can fly in the air!

To make the land-speed record, Thrust sped through about 13 miles (21 km) of desert. But official timekeepers from the United States Automobile Club measured the car's speed over just one mile (1.6 km). They set one-mile markers in the middle of Black Rock Desert and timed how fast Thrust raced through the markers. Then to figure out Thrust's velocity (speed in one direction), officials used the following formula:

velocity = distance

time

On its first run, Thrust made in through the one-mile markers in just 4.741 seconds. That translates to an amazing 759.333 mph (1,222 kph). To prove that wind didn't five the car a false boost, Thurst driver Andy Green had to refuel and repeat the run in the opposite direction within an hour. So the car turned around and rocketed back at 766.609 mph (1,234 kph). Officials averaged both speeds to reach the official landspeed record.

What's next for the fastest car on earth? It's too powerful for highways, but there are always higher speeds to aim for. After setting the speed record, Noble and his team shifted down a gear to relish the victory. "We just achieved what we set out to do many years ago," he says.
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Title Annotation:Thrust SuperSonic Car sets world land speed record
Author:Hugel, Bob
Publication:Science World
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Jan 12, 1998
Words:329
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