Thrust SSC - Supersonic Race Update

Issue 206 Lead Article - 14th October 1999

We're Back!

by Jeremy Davey, ThrustSSC Webmaster and Satellite Communications Manager

Back in January we lost a good friend, King Hussein of Jordan, after a long illness. Although we had pretty much ceased updates to the ThrustSSC Web Site, we felt that we had to recognise His Majesty’s contribution to the success of the project, and Richard set to and wrote the Lead Article.

When we tried to update the site, however, we couldn’t – update access was denied – and shortly afterwards, while we were waiting for the problem to be fixed, the servers were turned off. Without warning, the fascinating story of the ThrustSSC Web Site had reached an ignominious conclusion. It turned out that Compaq, who had recently taken over Digital, had decided that the site should end.

We’d always intended to switch off the site when interest in it died to a level - admittedly a rather arbitary one - of 100,000 accesses a week. Here lay the crux of the problem – because interest just hadn’t died – it was still running at 200,000 accesses a week. And the emails were coming in thick and fast from our loyal supporters: “What happened to the site?”; “Why didn’t you warn us?”; “There’s a huge hole in my life now” [??!!]; “Please, please, please put the site back”.

The Farnborough F1
(The Farnborough F1. Painting: Michael Turner.)

The task was set – to find a new host for the Web Site. Admittedly it didn’t get as much attention as it should have, but by that stage we were very busy on the new project, The new project turned out to be the key: it is another challenging idea, and this time – as you can tell from its name – it is Internet-oriented from the start.

We found ourselves talking to an old friend, Dr. David Probert. Dave was the Digital man who had first grasped the potential for the Internet to help ThrustSSC and who had set up the site in the first place. When Compaq took over, he moved to Unisys where he heads up their ecommerce work. We were talking to Unisys about the site, but we soon realised that they keen for us to bring back ThrustSSC as well.

So this is it. is launched to the public today, and at the same time ThrustSSC is back online. We will continue to update this site as and when there is news worth passing on, but we promise you that the new site is going to grip you in the same way that this one did.

So what now? Please read our piece on King Hussein, then head for the new site!

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