Faster than a Speeding Bullet (from MSN Encarta) It's a phrase we use all the time. What is actually faster than a speeding bullet? Let's look at these speedsters and find out. 1. To escape Earth's gravitational pull and head into deep space, launch vehicles (rockets that send space craft or satellites into space) must attain a velocity, called escape velocity, of about 40,000 km/h (about 25,000 mph). 2. In the 100-m dash at the 1996 Olympics, Canadian track-and-field athlete Donovan Bailey reached a top speed of 43.6 km/h (27.1 mph). 3. Avalanches can reach speeds exceeding 160 km/h (100 mph). 4. Right-hander Roger "Rocket" Clemens regularly throws pitches faster than 145 km/h (90 mph). 5. Jackrabbits are one of the fastest land animals and can travel almost as fast as an antelope for short distances, reaching speeds of 72 km/h (45 mph). They can also jump 4.5 to 6 m (some 15 to 20 ft) in a single jump. 6. Blue jet lightning bursts erupt from the center of thunderstorms at speeds of up to 6,000 km/h (3,300 mph). 7. The cheetah is the fastest ground animal on earth, able to attain speeds up to about 113 km/h (70 mph). 8. Magnetic levitation trains have reached speeds of 517 km/h (321 mph) in Japan. 9. Pronghorns are the fastest animals in North America. The top-recorded speed of a pronghorn is 86.5 km/h (53.8 mph). 10. The speed of sound depends on a number of things, like temperature, altitude, and the molecules it moves through. At 20 degrees C (68 degrees F), in dry air, the speed of sound is 344 m/sec (1,129 ft/sec), or 1,238 km/hr (770 mph). 11. Wind speeds in tornados range from 120 km/h (75 mph) to almost 500 km/h (300 mph). 12. Chuck Yeager became the first person to break the sound barrier on October 14, 1947. In the experimental Bell X-1 aircraft, he reached a speed of 1,065 km/h (662 mph), faster than the speed of sound at his altitude. 13. A speeding bullet: A 20-mm shell moves about 500 m/sec (1,600ft/sec). This translates to 1,800 km/hour (1,100 miles/hour). There we have it: of the items on this list, only blue jet lightning bursts and rockets sending objects into deep space are faster than a speeding bullet.