NASA X-43  — Fastest In Air
12. NASA X-43 — Fastest In Air

This aircraft can travel at almost 10 times the speed of sound. The scramjet engine obtains its thrust by mixing supersonic air with fuel. Top speed: 7,000 mph.

North American X-15 — Second Fastest In Air
11. North American X-15 — Second Fastest In Air

The North American X-15 was the first winged aircraft to fly at hypersonic speeds. The data from its flights were used to help design future hypersonic vehicles. Top speed: 4,520 mph.

SR-71 Blackbird — Third Fastest In Air
10. SR-71 Blackbird — Third Fastest In Air

The Blackbird was able to cruise at Mach 3 for over 3,000 miles. When it was still in use, this reconnaissance aircraft could traverse North America in a little over an hour! Top speed: 2,242.48 mph.

Helios Probe — Fastest In Space (Unmanned)
9. Helios Probe — Fastest In Space (Unmanned)

A vehicle must be traveling 25,000 mph just to escape the Earth's gravitational pull. The Helios Probe did well over that. Top speed: 153,800 mph.

Galileo Probe — Second Fastest In Space (Unmanned)
8. Galileo Probe — Second Fastest In Space (Unmanned)

The Galileo Probe was sent out to explore Jupiter and its moons. To enter Jupiter’s atmosphere, Galileo had to accelerate to extreme speeds. Top speed: 107,000 mph.

Apollo 10 — Fastest In Space (Manned)
7. Apollo 10 — Fastest In Space (Manned)

The astronauts of Apollo 10 hold a very distinct record of their own — fastest humans. Top speed: 24,816 mph.

Rocket Sled — Fastest On Ground (Unmanned)
6. Rocket Sled — Fastest On Ground (Unmanned)

This rocket-powered sled became the fastest vehicle on land when it accelerated to Mach 8.5. The sled was built as a simulation of a warhead intercepting an enemy missile. Top speed: 6,416 mph.

ThrustSSC — Fastest On Ground (Manned)
5. ThrustSSC — Fastest On Ground (Manned)

The ThrustSSC became the first automobile to break the sound barrier in 1997. It accelerated from zero to 600 in just 16 seconds! Top speed: 771 mph.

Thrust2 — Second Fastest On Ground (Manned)
4. Thrust2 — Second Fastest On Ground (Manned)

The Thrust2 held the speed record from 1982 to 1997, before being beat by its successor, the ThrustSSC. The Thrust2 fell short of its goal of breaking the sound barrier. Top speed: 650.88 mph.

Sonic Wind 1 — Third Fastest On Ground (Manned)
3. Sonic Wind 1 — Third Fastest On Ground (Manned)

In 1962, John Stapp was at the helm of this Sonic Wind 1. The rocket sled accelerated from zero to 632 mph in 5 seconds, but decelerated from 632 mph to zero in just 1.4 seconds. Top speed: 632 mph.

Spirit Of Australia — Fastest In Water
2. Spirit Of Australia — Fastest In Water

Setting a speed record in water is one of the most dangerous things a person could attempt — hitting a small wake could cause the watercraft to crash. Top speed: 317.6 mph.

Rain X Record Challenger — Second Fastest In Water
1. Rain X Record Challenger — Second Fastest In Water

The Rain X Record Challenger is a tragic reminder of how dangerous this record is. Craig Arfons attempted to break the speed record in 1989, when his boat flipped over unexpectedly. Sadly, Arfons died as a result of the crash. Top speed: 300 mph.

More From Odometer

22 Incredible Facts About NASA pop culture 22 Incredible Facts About NASA
Incredible Facts About The U.S. Navy SEALs pop culture Incredible Facts About The U.S. Navy SEALs

Comments

Cookie Settings