According to the laws of physics, speed is relative. To a snail, human walking pace is an incomprehensible velocity, yet virtually everything in the universe is standing still compared to the speed at which light travels.
To us mere human beings however, 1,000 mph is pretty fast. It seems even faster along the surface of the planet, which is what the Bloodhound SSC land speed record team aims to achieve in the summer of 2015. The vehicle uses not just a jet engine, as previous record attempts have used, but also a rocket—providing an extra boost to hit that 1,000 mph target. Now the team has released a video detailing the anatomy of its record attempt run—from the first moment the car pulls away until it stops more than ten miles later.
The start and stop points are rather important. Largely because the team needs to calculate when exactly to fire that rocket so the car clears 1,000 mph during the record measured mile—but also because the start and finish points, twelve miles apart, are lined with rocks. Bloodhound SSC may well use the world's strongest brakes, in conjunction with a parachute and air-brakes, but aiming your 1,000 mph car at a bed of rocks is still a risky business.
Ideally, that rocket needs to fire at the right point—not just to ensure the car is measured at 1,000 mph (in two directions), but also so the rocket extinguishes by the end of the measured mile. If the rocket is still firing, the car continues to accelerate, and driver Andy Green risks overshooting. All should go smoothly, of course—Green, and team leader Richard Noble, hold the last two land speed records—a 763 mph run set in the Thrust SSC in 1997, and Noble's previous record, 633 mph at Black Rock Desert in 1983.