Science is littered with tales of visionaries who paid for pioneering research to prove their theories, and this weekend “Mad” Mike Hughes is hoping to join them. He plans to launch a homemade rocket in California as part of a bid to eventually prove that the Earth is flat.
Hughes has spent $20,000 (£15,000) building the steam-powered rocket in his spare time, and will be livestreaming the launch over the internet. The self-described daredevil says he switched his focus to rockets after twice breaking his back doing stunt jumps in cars.
“I don’t believe in science,” declared the 61-year-old. “I know about aerodynamics and fluid dynamics and how things move through the air. But that’s not science, that’s just a formula.”
The rocket, which Hughes aims to reach an altitude of 1,800ft (550 metres) over California, will be launched from the back of a converted motorhome purchased from Craigslist. It is sponsored by a flat Earth research group, and Hughes plans a subsequent trip to try and observe the flatness of the Earth for himself.
Speaking about the risks of the flight, Hughes said: “It’s scary as hell, but none of us are getting out of this world alive.”
Hughes’ website describes him as “the only man to design, build and launch himself in a rocket” he previously flew in his own rocket in 2014, as this footage shows.
Hughes has stated that once he lands at the weekend, he intends to announce that he is running for the governorship of California.