A California man who is convinced the Earth is flat hopes to prove the controversial theory is true by launching himself into the atmosphere in a rocket he made in his garage.
“Mad” Mike Hughes, a 61-year-old limo driver, spent the past several years — and $ 20,000 — building his own rocket and launch pad.
The flat-Earth believer told the Associated Press that he gathered scrap metal to build the steam-powered rocket and made the launch pad from an old motor home he bought on Craigslist.
The launch, set for Saturday afternoon in Amboy, will be Hughes’ first attempt at proving that the Earth is not a round orbit — if all goes well.
Mike Hughes, of California, plans to launch himself in a rocket he made himself.
“If you’re not scared to death, you’re an idiot,” he told the outlet. “It’s scary as hell, but none of us are getting out of this world alive. I like to do extraordinary things that no one else can do, and no one in the history of mankind has designed, built and launched himself in his own rocket.”
“I’m a walking reality show,” he added.
The rocket, sponsored by a group called Research Flat Earth, is supposed to take Hughes about a mile above Amboy and accelerate to a top speed of 500 mph, according to the Associated Press.
Once in the atmosphere, Hughes plans to pull two parachutes and glide back down to the ground.
“I don’t believe in science,” he said. “I know about aerodynamics and fluid dynamics and how things move through the air, about the certain size of rocket nozzles, and thrust. But that’s not science, that’s just a formula. There’s no difference between science and science fiction.”
Following his jump, Hughes said he will announce plans to run for governor of California and will get to work on a second rocket that will carry him into space so he could snap pictures of the (flat) Earth.
The self-taught rocket scientist said he’s already working on a “Rockoon,” a rocket that will be carried into the atmosphere by a gas-filled balloon before it separates. Hughes hopes the Rockoon will take him 68 miles high.
This will be, according to the AP, the second time Hughes has constructed and launched a rocket, traveling some 1,374 feet in the air during a 2014 launch in Winkelman, Arizona.
Saturday’s attempt will be streamed on Hughes’ YouTube channel. He said he doesn’t want a live audience because of safety concerns.