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Land Speed Record Broken: 0-6,400 in Six Seconds

CowboyNeal posted more than 11 years ago | from the faster-than-a-speeding-bullet dept.

Science 362

linuxwrangler writes "Researchers at Holloman AFB have broken their own two decades old land speed record for rail vehicles. The rocket powered sled covered the 3 mile track in roughly 6 seconds. Preliminary numbers put the sled's speed at mach 8.6 or about 6,400 mph - it covered the last 1.8 miles in just 1.3 seconds. The previous record of 6,122 mph was set on Oct. 5, 1982. Other accounts are at the Alamogordo Daily News, the Denver Post, and CNN."

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Well Rounded Education (-1, Offtopic)

Michael's a Jerk! (668185) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860709)

Hi,

I'm concerned about the narrowm view of the world 'hard' science
students have these days. I think the problem starts at college -
There's a culture that somehow science is more rational and usefull
then the humanitities. Lecturers encourage students to joke about arts
students, and humilaite them whenever possible. This encourages
eliteism, and I for one am sick of it.

Let's tell it like it is. 'science' is just as much about opinion as
the humanities. Research simply follows the fad of the day. Take
dieticians for example. These men and woman believe that just because
they have degree in medical science that they are all knowing. Why,
what they recommend one day may kill you the next! (see the DDT story
for more information.) Science is 95% opinion then facts, lets face
it. What about astrology, the most rediculious of the sciences! But I
degress...

Another example is music. We know what sounds good. Everyone aggreed
that Valves for instance sound great. But knowitall engineers use
trensastors with inferious sound quality just to save a few bucks.
They argue with numbers. Hey, I don't want to do maths just to listen
to music. I know what I like. You cannot apply objective reasoning to
a subject which is intristically subjective. But try telling those
recent grads with their useless piece of paper that and they go all
mightier--then-thou.

The problem with you technical guys are that you are all so eliteist.
Whilst you want to trun collage into a trade school with yore narrow
minded views that collage should be a job training centre, humanities
are focused on making you a well rounded person who is auctually
interesting to be with, not a boring focuesed geek. Really, it makes
me so mad when people say "oh, he's doing a humanities degree, that's
easy". I have to read *3* *books* *a* *week* on average. Not picture
books either I assue you. It is a lot of work, but the upshot is
improved grammer and spelling skills that are lacking in the
technical. As for those that say "you will be working at mcdonalds" ,
I'm going on to so a PhD in socialolgy where I'll be line for tenure
where I have a much more rewarding job then beeing a science freak or
an engineer. Anyways, all I have to do to be a engineer wold be to get
my MSCE and how hard couyld that be? techincal stuff is simply
whatever fad the market thinks is hot at the moment, but all great
things were done by humanities.

You technical types are far to narrow minded and cynsical. You should
learn to enjoy life.

Peace be to god, he transcends all.

Re:Well Rounded Education (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5860736)

[But knowitall engineers use
trensastors with inferious sound quality just to save a few bucks]

Size, reliability, long life, no need to heat, reduced power use, sound quality virtually identical, unbreakable. I could go on, but obviously it would be irrelevant to a Humanities student :) :) :)

Re: Well Rounded Education (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860781)


> > But knowitall engineers use trensastors with inferious sound quality just to save a few bucks

> Size, reliability, long life, no need to heat, reduced power use, sound quality virtually identical, unbreakable. I could go on, but obviously it would be irrelevant to a Humanities student :) :) :)

If he were a humanities student he would have known how to spell his post right.

In other forums he probably whinges about how humanities students lord it over the phys ed majors.

Re: Well Rounded Education (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5860851)

so he'll hate jokes like:

Q:What did the Humanities Graduate say to the Engineering graduate?
A:Would you like fries with that?

Re: Well Rounded Education (0)

Alan Partridge (516639) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860988)

we ALL hate jokes that aren't actually funny

Re:Well Rounded Education (0)

RyatNrrd (662756) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860737)

This could be side-splittingly funny, if only I could be sure that it was meant as a joke...

Re:Well Rounded Education (0, Offtopic)

dduardo (592868) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860756)

Ok, i'll bite. First off, you can't even spell the acronym correctly. It's MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer) Secondly, about every 2 year old can get one.

Re:Well Rounded Education (1)

mothrathegreat (542532) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860774)

I honestly cant tell if this is a serious post or not. If it is, it has to be the most poorly thought out post ever. Yes engineering and science students do joke about arts students - its fun and they take it with a pinch of salt. We all know there are clever arts students Valve amplifiers were abandoned for good reasons - They require the replacement of valves when they burn out -They are expensive -transistors dont break when you knock them You CAN buy valve amplifiers still so stop complaining Your improved spelling skills aren't helping you spell "grammar" correctly I guess my well rounded engineering based education isn't so bad after all!

Re:Well Rounded Education (1, Offtopic)

black mariah (654971) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860921)

Tube amps haven't been abandoned at all, they just went upscale. All the high-grade 'audiophile' bullshit is tube. Guitar amps are still mostly tube. Basically, the only problem is that morons like you call them 'valves'. Damn Brits. ;)

Yes, that was a joke.

Re:Well Rounded Education (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5860789)

It is a lot of work, but the upshot is improved grammer and spelling skills that are lacking in the technical.

Perhaps you should consider a technical career then - I counted 31 spelling errors in your post. This does not include grammatical errors, just misspelled words.

Damn clueless liberal arts fuckwits...

Re:Well Rounded Education (1)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860832)

'science' is just as much about opinion as
the humanities.


Basically what you are saying is there are no objective truths about reality in the hard sciences, just followers of intellectual fashion which are mere 'opinions' disguised as solid, arrogant, indisputable 'facts'. There's a lot to be said for that view, but consider this: is the equation E=mc^2 "merely" Einsteins 'opinion' or does it convey some real usable truth's about the universe? Similarly with Newton's F=ma or Ohm's law, E=IR? Certainly there is some element of arbitrary fashion and social cultural convention with those 'absolute truths' - the letters used to represent variables. In Ohm's law, why do they (we) use 'E' for electromotive force when we could use 'V' for voltage? Those 'truths' could also take a different form if the fundamental unit definitions where changed like the terms of the speed of light or units of energy. So you can see, the language of the 'hard' sciences contains a lot of social convention and arbitrary fashion dictated by a paternalistic hierarical social command and control structure, but they also convey, once you see thru that descriptive human language, an intuition about the workings of the actual physical universe that appearantly you artsy fartsy faggots will never understand.

Re:Well Rounded Education (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5860953)

And you wonder why people make fun of Humanitites students.

It is NOT opinion that allows the Fabrication of CPUs that run at 3 Gigahertz. Nor Opinion that puts satelites in orbit. Nor for that matter opinion that allows for relativistic effects in the timing of GPS signals.

Astrology is NOT a science. 'Nuff Said.

And if you can process and internalise 3 books a week, I might be tempted to deride the complexity of the content.

Incidently, what does "Peace be to God" mean ? Are you wishing that noone should wage war on Him ? Are you concerned that He may be besieged by other deities ? Surely you are not "Narrow Minded" enough to rule out multiple gods ?

Blues Skies,
Soft Landings.
Dave.

meep-meep (-1, Offtopic)

heymjo (244283) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860710)

first post!

Re:meep-meep (1, Funny)

ccbaxter (660318) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860718)

I see the first post speed record hasn't been broken...

Re:meep-meep (0)

heymjo (244283) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860730)

i cannot possibly see how this guy could've typed in a 50 line reply in under 10 seconds.. Furthermore, he could've selected a better reply from his cut_and_paste_replies library for this topic

YOU FAIL IT! (-1)

YOU FAIL IT! (624257) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860725)

This is not the first post! Unfortunately for you, this guy [slashdot.org] is like some kind of rocket-powered sled of first posting!

YOU FAIL IT!

YOU FAIL IT ! (1)

mirko (198274) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860727)

perhaps you should have used the above mentioned land rocket to get to your computer ?
BTW, how hot was the rocket, after it broke the record ?
And did they have to liquid-nitrogenize it before the "race" ?

In Britain .. (4, Interesting)

ethnocidal (606830) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860720)

We had something like this running during the mid 1990s. The speeds were incredible; it used the three decade old mothballed British launch vehicle rocket motors, which were abandoned after our nuclear deterrent moved onto submarine launched ballistics.

The record would have been held by the land on which the rain never stops, but for the fact there were some irritating leaves on the line during summer and autumn months. Winter was ruled out by that pesky light dusting of snow, and after unfortunate incidents with hypersonic sparrows in spring, the whole project was abandoned in favour of the 'wobbly train' approach to high speed cornering.

Re:In Britain .. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5860734)

Imagine trying to walk down the train with a plastic cup of hot coffee at 6400mph!!

Re:In Britain .. (4, Funny)

Munra (580414) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860741)

Apparently First Great Western trains (that's a UK train company, for those not in the know) have begun trialling this technology for their mainline service between Bristol and London.

Theoretically the time for this journey could be cut to just over a minute, but taking into account the breaking zone needed, and the areas of 'slow track' where the train runs at 30Mph maximum, the estimated time for this journey would be somewhere in the region of 2 hours; a marked 5 minute saving in time.

Re:In Britain .. (1)

sheean.nl (565364) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860761)

that might be true, but now the train company would have all the right to make their trains look like rockets :)

Re:In Britain .. (2, Funny)

Richard W.M. Jones (591125) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860791)

Unfortunately there was a 3 hour delay caused by the "wrong type of rockets".

Rich.

Re:In Britain .. (1)

IamNotWitchboy (563675) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860743)

I can't even imagine the kind of aceleration this thing experiences. Are there even human beings "driving" it? By the hints of the article, I doubt it. I think it's like shooting a "wheeled" rocket. It must be an amazing display.

Re:In Britain .. (4, Interesting)

fyonn (115426) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860797)

Are there even human beings "driving" it?

I think it's safe to say "no"

if there were humans driving it at the start then there wouldn't have been at the end. apart from the fact that the sled stopped yb hitting an immobile object, the humans would have been but a red paint job at the back of the cabin by then anyways

dave

In soviet russia (0, Offtopic)

CrazyJim0 (324487) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860752)

Guess.

Re:In Britain .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5860937)

did someone say "rocket motors",..6,400 mph... whats escape velocity again? maybe they should point it up and go for the x-prize.

Re:In Britain .. (1, Funny)

The Dobber (576407) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860976)


I remeber hearing a story about a guy who got hold of some JATO rockets (the kind they use for getting big jets to takeoff faster) and strapped them to the side of his car. He took it out into..........

Oh, err, nevermind

fun (3, Funny)

UniverseIsADoughnut (170909) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860722)

"Preliminary numbers put the sled's speed at mach 8.6 or about 6,400 mph - it covered the last 1.8 miles in just 1.3 seconds."

Weeeeeeee!!!!

isn't that enough (1, Funny)

SHEENmaster (581283) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860785)

to detach a human retina!?

How can the driver code w/out his eyes!? Oh, forgot that others put national fame above coding. What nerds.

not *that* funny (1)

mirko (198274) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860838)

excuse me, how has this been marked twice(*) as funny ?
he should at least have written it "zoooooooooooooweeeeeeeeeeeee" so that the Doppler effect would have been taken into account...
and why can't I post as anonymous anymore ? not that I miss it but...

(* there should be a glitch in the matrix.)

Re:not *that* funny (1)

UniverseIsADoughnut (170909) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860897)

eh, i don't know why it did as good as it has for a comment. anyways, the doppler idea is ok, but that assumes i was someplace mid track, i think most people would be somewhere near the start point and away from the thrust, so as to be in a very safe spot, relitive to most other spots. So they would hear no doppler effect.

Hmm... (0)

Asterax (522761) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860732)

...And yet I'm still late to class almost every day...

Re:Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5860749)

And this is relevant how? Shut up.

Aww. (-1, Redundant)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860735)

And I thought this was gonna be a legitimate record. Unfortunately, they used a very specialised monorail track for this record; almost like flying. It would be far more legitimate if it had had to be done over the ground, in a car-like vehicle.

Re:Aww. (2, Insightful)

RyatNrrd (662756) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860765)

Why stick to a car-like design when you can improve on it? Cars are a lazy, Victorian, inefficient idea.

Re:Aww. (1)

kyrre (197103) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860800)

And how would they keep the thing from taking off? Impossible.

Re:Aww. (2, Informative)

black mariah (654971) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860837)

Like the article said, it's a record for railed vehicles. RTFA, THEN post.

Don't talk to me about the trains (1, Funny)

JohnCC (534168) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860739)

You wait all morning for a train, then two come along at once! Pah! Thats my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

Re:Don't talk to me about the trains (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5860834)

In this case: you wait all day for a train, and two come along at 8.6 times the speed of sound.

The problem is catching them.

Metric Conversion (5, Informative)

asciimonster (305672) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860740)

For the non-US people in the world:

"Researchers at Holloman AFB have broken their own two decades old land speed record for rail vehicles. The rocket powered sled covered the 4.8 km track in roughly 6 seconds. Preliminary numbers put the sled's speed at mach 8.6 or about 10300 km/h - it covered the last 2.9 km in just 1.3 seconds. The previous record of 9851 km/h was set on Oct. 5, 1982. Other accounts are at the Alamogordo Daily News, the Denver Post, and CNN."

Maybe we should make a rule that say you always have to supply metric and imperial units... It would make my job so much easier...

Thank you for your conversion (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5860801)

We only use imperial units for maths puzzles where I live ;)

You get larger numbers with metric for speed and smaller numbers for weighing yourself.

Re:Metric Conversion (1)

black mariah (654971) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860854)

Yes, because people can't do simple conversions in their head. One kilometer is approximately 1.6 miles. Round off to 1.5 times and you have a good generalization.

Re:Metric Conversion (1)

Alan Partridge (516639) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860960)

1Km is approximately 1.6 Miles? In what universe would THAT be?

Re:Metric Conversion (1)

PARENA (413947) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860981)

Except that... 1 mile is approximately 1.6 kilometers

Re:US people? (-1, Troll)

jkrise (535370) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860860)

I thought only sheeple lived there...they've invented new spelling, new measures, new colo(u)rs..even messed around with date formats, temperature measurements..and drive on the wrong right side of the road!

No wonder they struggle to understand what the real people of the world are telling them. There may be exceptions though :-). Some Slashdot moderators seem to be ....No Carrier.

Re:Metric Conversion (2, Funny)

betat (655375) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860965)

"Preliminary numbers put the sled's speed at mach 8.6 or about 10300 km/h"

bah..you and your metric and imperial units.

What we really want to know is...how fast is that in Libraries of Congress(LOC)/second.

Driver not Available for Comment (3, Funny)

Renegade Lisp (315687) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860742)

I was wondering what the driver had to say after he got out of this thing, but then I did the maths...

Not sure if I interpret the numbers correctly, but for the acceleration I get 207 m/s^2 on the first, 4.65 sec stage, and 755 m/s^2 on the second, 1.3 sec stage, which is about 21g and 76g, respectively.

No, there wasn't a driver in this thing :-)

Re:Driver not Available for Comment (1)

Renegade Lisp (315687) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860783)

Those numbers... I actually mixed up two numbers in the parent post. It should actually be 2052 m/s^2 on the second stage, which would be a about 200g.

Re:Driver not Available for Comment (5, Informative)

black mariah (654971) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860900)

To give you a clue how high that is, Dave Purley survived a crash where he pulled 179 G's. He suffered 29 fractures, six dislocations, and six heart stoppages. It was the result of a near-instantaneous stop while hitting a wall at 108MPH (about 160kph, I think). IIRC, the Guinness book puts the time he sustained that g-force at a couple of thousandths of a second.

As another perspective, Top Fuel drivers in the NHRA cover a quarter of a mile in roughly 4.4 seconds, from a standing start, reaching speeds of over 320MPH. The 0-100 times are generally in the .10 second area. The max sustained g-force is about 7. If you've ever seen a dragster accelerate up close, you can extrapolate the violence yourself. :D

Re:Driver not Available for Comment (1)

CvD (94050) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860842)

Well, maybe there *was* a driver. There certainly is no longer a driver now, though. :-)

Wow... (-1, Redundant)

thesysadmin (660290) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860747)

And I thought that my dad's car was fast!

Seriously, when will speeds like that be available for the publics own use?

If we could make a train go that fast, and make it safe, then we could shuttle people from say, Michigan all the way to Florida in just about an hour or two. People would pay as well ; ).

Re:Wow... (1, Funny)

SamBeckett (96685) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860773)

You mean like... a plane?

Michigan rules anyway... Why would you ever want to leave?

Re:Wow... (2, Funny)

Coelacanth (323321) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860902)


Great idea. As long as you don't mind arriving in the form of slightly lumpy, reddish-brown slurry.

Take the extra hour or two, and fly :-)

Darwin award winner did it first? (3, Funny)

petej (36394) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860750)

I think the Darwin award winner from a few years back did this first -- you know, the guy who strapped a JATO unit to his Pinto.

Re:Darwin award winner did it first? (5, Informative)

trikberg (621893) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860787)

That is an urban legend. This story [cultdeadcow.com] started it. Or rather, the events portrayed in the story led to the urban legend; the story was written long after the urban legend started flourishing.

Re:Darwin award winner did it first? (4, Informative)

some guy I know (229718) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860809)

the guy who strapped a JATO unit to his Pinto
Rocket Car - the "true" story [bored.com]

Re:Darwin award winner did it first? (1)

Alsee (515537) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860885)

the guy who strapped a JATO unit to his Pinto.

No need to strap one on, all Pintos come with a JATO built in, it's that gas tank attached to the rear bumper.

-

Faster than.. (4, Funny)

rf0 (159958) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860753)

..a curry through you on a Friday night

Rus

I wonder ... (2, Interesting)

Currawong (563634) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860760)

From Newsday.com's article [newsday.com] :

The sled was designed to cover the first 1.4 miles in 4.65 seconds, then speed up in the final stages and cover 1.8 miles in 1.3 seconds, Kurtz said. At the end, bolts were detonated to allow the missile to detach from the sled and successfully hit its target.

I wonder if this has military implications?

Re: I wonder ... (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860790)


> > The sled was designed to cover the first 1.4 miles in 4.65 seconds, then speed up in the final stages and cover 1.8 miles in 1.3 seconds, Kurtz said. At the end, bolts were detonated to allow the missile to detach from the sled and successfully hit its target.

> I wonder if this has military implications?

General Franks might be interested in the "successfully hit its target" part.

Re:I wonder ... (3, Funny)

Rolo Tomasi (538414) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860794)

I wonder if this has military implications?

No, the military never tests technology which might have military implications.

Re:I wonder ... (1)

Alsee (515537) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860929)

Often the civilian spin-offs turn out to have far greater implications than the original military purpose. Dominoe's Pizza is reportedly watching this project very closely.

-

Re:I wonder ... (0)

Mr Reaney (544642) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860952)

I can see it now: 1. CIA discover location of Saddam/Osama. 2. Engineers build railway track. 3. BOOM!

Re:I wonder ... (1)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860862)

Am I the only person to have visions of Gromit [wallaceandgromit.com] frantically laying track in front of this new train missile as it heads towards it target ??

Beep beep! (5, Funny)

NonSequor (230139) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860764)

Were they trying to catch a road runner or something?

Re:Beep beep! (1)

Surak (18578) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860830)

Were they trying to catch a road runner or something?

Oh! That would explain why they ordered the rockets from the Acme Rocket Co. ;)

Re:Beep beep! (4, Funny)

Alsee (515537) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860904)

Were they trying to catch a road runner or something?

Yep! Zero to 6,400 in six seconds and 6,400 to zero in 0.002 seconds when he hit the tunnel painted on the side of the mountain.

-

Faster than... (0)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860768)

...a speeding Slashdotting!

Stopping (1)

rf0 (159958) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860776)

Looking over the links can't see anything about how you stop this sort of thing. Do they just let it crash into a wall of have some sort of parachute after the rockets have burnt out

Rus

Re:Stopping (1)

fyonn (115426) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860813)

ended in a spray of sparks when a missile carried by the sled slammed into an immobile target.

I'm guessing it didn;t make it through the test in one peice... maybe it made it through in a cloud of dust though

dave

Re:Stopping (2, Funny)

maharg (182366) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860823)

from the first link at http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/news/a/20 03/05/01/national1355EDT0644.DTL

The test, in a remote area of the base, started with a brilliant, multihued blaze of rocket engines and ended in a spray of sparks when a missile carried by the sled slammed into an immobile target. There was silence until a split second before the end, when earsplitting bursts rolled across the desert floor.

Seems like they have a fairly effective braking system. I wonder what the immobile target was ?

Re:Stopping (2, Funny)

Zog The Undeniable (632031) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860856)

Syria?

Re:Stopping (1)

maharg (182366) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860899)

Quick, Mobilise ! There's a sled comi *THUD*

Re:Stopping (2, Funny)

scharkalvin (72228) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860917)

Bin Laden sitting in a Bently?

HA! That's nothing.... (3, Funny)

gr8fulnded (254977) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860780)

Anyone who's ever seen 95, N.VA, in the middle of rush hour isn't impressed.

I've seen 80 yr old ladies flying faster then that.

--Dave

Re:HA! That's nothing.... (1)

LucidityZero (602202) | more than 11 years ago | (#5861013)

Hell with 95, it's 270 right after the split off of 495 (also NoVa area - I guess we're talking MD now.) 495 is always packed as hell, and then suddenly glorious 270 with 6 lanes and no traffic opens up...

The poor train conductors (1, Funny)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860802)

This is going to exhaust the train conductors here in the Netherlands trying to check tickets when the train is travelling that fast between stations.

Wrong goal. (3, Insightful)

EasyTarget (43516) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860803)

Wouldn't it be nice if humanity could do this super cool stuff without the ultimate aim being to find more efficient ways of killing people.

The arms industry often shocks me, rarely awe's me.

Re:Wrong goal. (2, Insightful)

CausticWindow (632215) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860858)

Sorry matey. There's no such thing as the "humanity". There's the US of A and then there is the rest of the world.

Incidently, it's the US that are developing (and using) most of the weapons.

Re:Wrong goal. (1, Interesting)

Ben Hutchings (4651) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860877)

While Britain, France, Germany and Russia are busy making money selling lower-tech weapons to dictatorships.

Re:Wrong goal. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5860984)

Don't forget China...

Re:Wrong goal. (2, Interesting)

Moschaef (624770) | more than 11 years ago | (#5861014)

Actually, this is part of an effort to save lives. It's being developed by the Missile Defense Agency and if used operationally, it will probably save millions of lives. Just existing provides monumental deterrence to rogue countries like North Korea or some billionaire terrorist who has purchased an old soviet missile.

For those who think it will instigate an arms race, do you really think they can build more ICBMs than we can build ABMs? One former super power, The USSR, tried to match our military industry and had to declare bankruptcy; so I don't think China or North Korea has a prayer.

what actually happened (3, Funny)

tankdilla (652987) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860816)

At approximately 88 mph the vehicle became a blur and seemingly vanished, and after 6 seconds it appeared at the end of the track. A scientist known as "Doc" was subsequently questioned about the contribution of the controversial flux capacitor technology used to power the vehicle, but he declined to comment. All he kept saying was "Great Scott!!!"

Going into orbit (0)

asciimonster (305672) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860822)

If they were able to increase it's velocity to about 4x its value, It would have launched into orbit! If I remember correctly, the ISS is moving at 22,500 mph (36200 km/h). I wonder if they had to generate some downforce the keep the trainything on the rails. The earth is a sphere and therefore the track should be slightly bent!

Challenge for Train spotters (3, Funny)

2sleep2type (652900) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860824)

Rather tricky to get the numbers on this when it's passing through.

WOW (1)

John_Renne (176151) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860826)

And just this morning my 100 mile trainride took me 2 hours thanks to a freight-train running in front of us.

How about different kinds of railed vehicles...

And in finacial news just in... (5, Funny)

NewtonsLaw (409638) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860829)

Shares in the Acme Novelty company have risen 23 percent.

moron last gasper payper liesense softwar (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5860833)

gangsters/dinosaurs. firing blindly into the crowd, as they topple into the tarpits of d00m.

http://www.nytimes.com/cnet/CNET_2100-1016_3-999 37 1.html

please say they'll not FUDge the saykrud kode of the SourceForgerIE(tm)?

I have an old fiesta that can barely (1, Funny)

noogle (664169) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860843)

get up to 60, you insensitive clod.

Re:I have an old fiesta that can barely (1)

sn0wcrash (223995) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860881)

I've got a Yugo that can only go as fast as I can push it... you insensitive clod!

G - forces (2, Interesting)

krygny (473134) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860852)

I'd be interested to know how many G's you'd pull at that rate of acceleration. Yes, I know, I could dust off my old physics text books and calculate it. But I'm not that interested and I'm not posting it as a challenge because it's not that hard, so don't go there.

Just a thought, even though I'm too lazy.

Re:G - forces (0)

Lairdsville (600242) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860933)

Read the posts. Someone worked it out!

Landspeed records don't impress me (2, Insightful)

dk.r*nger (460754) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860878)

Every once in a while, the quest to build the fastest car, train, whatever, is on Discovery.

But these vehicles are merely planes touching the ground. The real quest, in my eyes, would be building a vehicle that is powered through its wheels, not a giant rocketmotor. At least if the quest is to build a car or a train, not a rocket!

sounds fun! (0)

JMastahFlex (649906) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860879)

i wanna go for a ride!!

In other news (4, Funny)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860895)

Signs of nervousness in the Syrian leadership as the US announce they intend to build a new high speed rail link between Baghdad and Damascus as a gesture of goodwill.

Of Dubious Value? (3, Insightful)

JoseMonkey (64123) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860909)

Call me cynical, but I'm trying to figure out if this type of research has real merit, or if it is entirely masturbatory. What's the point exactly?

It's a military project, i.e., tax-payer funded, so I'd like to hear some relevant, practical uses for said technology. It sounds like it was used to deliver a bullet-type missle in this case. Something tells me that you couldn't really use this delivery method in an actual *war* . . .

Land speed record primer (3, Informative)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860966)

Here's the deal: Regardless of whether the "vehicle" makes contact with the ground via wheels or a rail, it more or less is flying while in contact with the ground. Anyone who remembers "blue lightning" will recall that it was/is a missle painted blue with a driver's seat and wheels. If you want a record for the fastest gasoline-powered car, that's a whole separate arena. These people are trying to get something that 1) goes the fastest while 2) remaining in contact with the ground in some way. The reason this craft could go so fast is precisely because the rail system reduces the friction from the ground to a significant degree.

Underground transatlantic trains (1)

locarecords.com (601843) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860968)

I remember reading a book that speculated about the kind of speeds that trains could reach for transatlantic deep tunnels to hop across the world in no time at all without the airplanes...

Unfortunately I think the heat these things generate would make the whole thing untenable... Plus of course the air pressure problems (though I seem to remember the tunnels being vacuums - with their own issues...)

Why they built it. (4, Interesting)

MyNameIsFred (543994) | more than 11 years ago | (#5860992)

Several posts have asked if this has military applications. The answer is yes for testing. They use the sled to examine the interactions between weapons and targets in a controlled dynamic environment. For example, you park an aircraft at the end of the rail. Shot a warhead down the track and let it hit the target.

Why not do this in the air? You can carefully place cameras and other instrumentations to observe the test. Afterwards, you can easily collect debris for further analysis.

Why set a new land-speed record? Think of the Republican Party's wildest dream -- National Missile Defense.

How much faster? (3, Funny)

flamingdog (16938) | more than 11 years ago | (#5861010)

Damn, that thing would probably go faster than light if it had a 5" exhaust pipe that made it sound like a go-kart, a body kit, a spoiler higher than its roof, new rims and low profile tires, and a paint job that made it look like vaginal expulsions...

I mean, wow, what if those scientists really fucking knew what they were doing and did some of those high-tech mods like new spark plug wires, and painting the engine block? Holy shit...

Oh wait...nevermind...
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