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Trackside for the Bloodhound rocket car's first speed run

We get up close and personal with the rocket car that will soon break the land speed record in South Africa.

1 of 27 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Meet the Bloodhound SSC, the rocket-powered car that in 2018 will attempt to hit 1,000 mph, beating the land speed record. 

Before that, I got up close and personal with the vehicle on its first speed test run in Cornwall, South-West England. 

Click through to see behind the scenes on what happened on the day.

2 of 27 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The Bloodhound was being run on an airstrip in Cornwall. I had to get there extremely early in the morning to see the car in the hangar. 

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It's an imposing machine.

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Numerous engineers were already on site, preparing the car for the run later that day.

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More tinkering, with the Cornish flag on show.

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A coffee truck was on site. It was popular, unsurprisingly.

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In the foreground, the roof of the car which will be put into place once the driver gets inside.

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And here is the driver, RAF Wing Commander Andy Green.

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As sunlight started to creep out, the car was pushed out of the hangar to display it to the world's press.

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It was great to see the 13-metre (44-foot) -long car in one piece.

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A final team huddle before the car is taken to the airstrip.

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How do you take a 5-tonne car to the track? By towing it in a Volvo, of course.

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It's designed to go in a straight line when it's doing its actual speed run, so its turning circle isn't good. To turn it, the engineers lift it onto casters.

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It's pulled toward the track.

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It's pushed by the teams for the last few steps.

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Final checks take place.

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Driver Andy Green gives it his own once over.

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Everything is ready to go.

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Around 4,000 members of the public gathered to watch the speed run.

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"To see the crowd reaction, and seeing the kids get excited, that's very special. That is the object, not to break a record -- we already have the record (Ayers worked on the Thrust SSC car, which still holds the record at 763 mph) -- we're doing it to inspire young people and what inspires young people more than high speed cars!" explained Ron Ayers, aerodynamic designer for the Bloodhound.

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The Bloodhound project has toured numerous schools around the country, hoping to inspire more children to take up engineering.

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The car pulls away.

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Off it goes! The cone of flame, together with the ear-splitting roar of the engine makes for an impressive show. It's all over in a matter of seconds.

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"This is a car that's designed to cruise supersonic on a 12-mile track in South Africa," Andy Green said. "It is not designed to be driven like a drag racing car on a short concrete track at Cornwall airport. Despite that, the car just delivered in spades."

25 of 27 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Lots of people brought cameras to try and capture the car. 

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Andy Green, sitting in the cockpit.

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This electrical box was the starter motor which helped the car start up.

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