They see something and then they hear it. Puffs of smoke off in the distance and then an audible blast out of the jet engines’ tailpipes. Empirical – and sensory – confirmation that light is faster than sound. Ernst Mach would be proud.

Members of the SSC support team are standing by in Supacats. They are aborigines gathered around a fire.

“The car is beginning to yaw,” Andy Green says, a master of understatement. He is coming towards the Supacats, slightly weaving between parallel white lines. It appears to the observers, however, this machine is coming from an arc. It is empirical confirmation that the earth is round.

He manhandles ten tons of machinery back into the proper groove and passes through the measure mile at 763 mph. Boom. Boom. Windows rattle at Bruno’s and glasses on the bar wiggle. A shot glass is knocked off the bar and breaks.

“Man, that was hard work,” Andy Green reports through his mask.

At Mile 13.5, the support team turns the beast around and packs the parachutes, replenishes the fuel and interfaces the starter motor, spinning the turbine blades and injecting voltage and kerosene. The moment is nigh. Back to back, baby. Supermotherfuckingsonic.


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