“Mad” Mike Hughes, a self-taught rocket scientist and flat Earth researcher, finally managed to launch himself into the air in his DIY rocket. He wanted to take the journey, which happened on Saturday, as part of his research into whether the Earth was flat. Two previous launch attempts were foiled, but the third proved to be the charm.
Hughes first launch attempt, according to a report by Gizmodo, was halted by the Bureau of Land Management based on a flight path that would have taken Hughes over public land.
His second was stopped by technical issues.
On Saturday, in Amboy, California, Hughes finally showed that his DIY rocket was capable of sending him flying into the sky, and he reached a height of approximately 1,875 feet.
Hughes helper, Waldo Stakes, admitted that the steam-powered rocket only reached 340 psi instead of the desired 350, but they proceeded with the launch is avoid another cancelation.
Stakes estimates that the rocket reached a speed of 350 mph.
Hughes returned to the ground relatively unscathed, only complaining of an aching back after the fact, though did receive assistance from paramedics to get out of the rocket after he touched down on terra firma.
“I’m tired of people saying I checked out and didn’t build a rocket,” said Hughes during an interview. “I’m tired of that stuff. I manned up and did it.”
“This thing wants to kill you 10 different ways,” he added. “This thing will kill you in a heartbeat.”
“Am I glad I did it?” Hughes asked. “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 weekend launch is considered an initial phase of a larger event. Hughes ultimately wants to reach a height that places him miles above the Earth, where he hopes to see proof that the Earth is actually a disk and capture that evidence on film.