Flat Earth Rocketeer Mike Hughes Just Rode His Homemade Rocket 1,800 Feet Into the Air
When we reported on the 61-year-old DIY rocketeer and apparent Flat Earther Mike Hughes' plans to launch a homemade rocket over the California desert, it came after at least one failed attempt and several canceled lift-offs. Like most people, we doubted whether Hughes' rocket would ever get off the ground...but part of us hoped against hope that "Mad" Mike Hughes' (who allegedly believes that the Earth is Frisbee-shaped, not round) would somehow manage to carry out his bizarre plans.
This past Saturday, he did.
According to the Washington Post, Hughes launched himself about 1,875 feet into the air at a speed of about 350 miles per hour astride his homemade rocket, which was emblazoned with the words "RESEARCH FLAT-EARTH." The launch was almost vertical and lasted about one minute from lift-off to touch-down.
After reaching it maximum height, the rocket deployed a white parachute that slowed its descent, followed by a secondary parachute that deployed only a few seconds before the craft hit the ground. You can watch the full video here, provided by Noize TV (skip to 26:38 for the actual launch).
After landing once more on Earth, Hughes was swarmed by security and emergency personnel who helped him out of the rocket's cockpit and onto a small stretcher, where he lay for several minutes, apparently recovering from the experience. It's unclear if Hughes' was injured, but he was apparently looking forward to heading home that night: in a quote to the AP, he said "Am I glad I did it? Yeah. I guess. I'll feel it in the morning. I won't be able to get out of bed. At least I can go home and have dinner and see my cats tonight."
This isn't the end of Hughes' rocket dreams.
He apparently plans to launch himself 52 miles (roughly 275,000 feet) into the atmosphere by the end of the year to continue his crusade to prove that the Earth is flat. Or rather, "Frisbee-shaped."