This weekend, one man plans to launch himself 1,800 feet into the air in a steam-powered rocket he made himself from salvaged parts out of his garage – in a quest to prove Earth isn’t round, but flat. “Mad” Mike Hughes, a 61-year-old limousine driver, describes himself on his website as “the only man to in history to design, build, and launch himself in a rocket.” His ultimate goal is to launch several miles above our planet to capture photographic evidence we live on a disc.
Hughes, a self-styled daredevil who set a Guinness World Record in 2002 for a limousine jump, did fly a homemade rocket a quarter mile over Arizona back in 2014. The flight ended with him dragged from the rocket, and he had to use a walker for two weeks due to his injuries. But now Hughes plans to soar again – this time with the backing of the flat-Earth community.
One of his sponsors is a group called Research Flat Earth. Online outlet The Daily Plane launched a GoFundMe page for Hughes, saying, “Knowing that NASA doesn’t send anyone to space, Mad Mike could be one of the only people up in the air in a rocket.” People have contributed over $7,000 to the page.
Hughes thinks a conspiracy of astronauts created the image of Earth as a globe. But The Washington Post said Hughes is a recent flat-Earth convert. He didn’t raise much money for a follow-up to his 2014 flight; a Kickstarter campaign with two backers didn’t mention the flat Earth idea. But Hughes said after months of research, he’s now a believer.
Hughes told the Associated Press, “I don’t believe in science. 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.”
Hughes plans to launch on November 25 over California’s Amboy Ghost Town. He plans to travel around a mile at a speed of around 500 miles per hour.