Rocket Bike

Here’s a cool version of rocket science, as reported by CNN. Call it rocket science on the cheap:

For rocket designer Tim Pickens, a rocket on two wheels is the next best thing to a spaceship.

“At heart we’re a bunch of guys wanting to go to space, and we can’t afford it,” says Pickens of himself and his rocket-scientist brethren, most of whom never get to ride their own creations. “Basically it’s my own subscale space program.”

Pickens, president of rocket-design firm Orion Propulsion, created his first rocket bike with fellow speed enthusiast Glenn May by bolting a 35-pound-thrust rocket engine to Pickens’s bike — enough power for a gentle push down the road.

That project didn’t kill anyone, so Pickens got himself another bike and stepped it up, attaching a 200-pound-thrust engine capable of blasting him from 0 to 60 miles an hour in five seconds — fast enough to beat a Porsche in a drag race.

The rocket bike employs the same hybrid rocket technology as the suborbital rocket plane SpaceShipOne, whose propulsion system Pickens helped design.

Man, we would have done anything to have that bike when we were twelve.