Developing

Ex-Nasa Experts Create High-Tech Tricycle

Former Nasa scientists who lost their jobs when the space shuttle operation ended have teamed up to create a high-tech tricycle.

The winding up of the shuttle programme left many top-level engineers out of work - but it seems their expertise is not going to waste.

This design project has resulted in a futuristic tricycle - and this time the vehicle is for use on Earth rather than up in space.

Called the Treycycle , it is powered by a Chrysler 300 3.5-litre engine, packs 260 horsepower and can go from 0-60mph in 3.6 seconds.

The part-bike, part-car is billed as the first race-engineered but street-legal three-wheeled vehicle.

There is apparently already a waiting list of 150 for the tricycle, which is being built in the shadow of Launch Pad 39A, where shuttle Atlantis once stood.

They aim to build two every three weeks in the first year of production, which is set to start next month.

Ray Ackley, CEO and designer, hopes the business will employ more than 100 people within a year.

Mr Ackley told Fox 35: "Space centre has laid off so many people and they are being displaced and a lot of them really can't move. They are stuck with their houses and mortgages.

"I'm hoping to employ between 110 to 130 people within a year. If the company gets bigger, it will be even more."

There is even a modified version of the bike in production, with three seats to suit couples with a child.

Each one will have a special serial number plate which says: "Made on the Space Coast in the Sunshine State."

Michael Shulman, from promoters Emerging Growth Institute, said: "You can be sure this is going to fly."

America's 30-year shuttle programme ended this summer when Atlantis landed back safety after its last-ever mission.