Update Nov. 26: “Mad” Mike Hughes, a 61-year-old limo driver and flat Earther, might not have expected all the public attention to be a bad thing. A few obstacles got in the way of Hughes’ planned homemade rocket launch, including the U.S. government, disappointing many flat Earthers hoping that Saturday’s launch would have proven them right.
"Someone from our local office reached out to [Hughes] after seeing some of these news articles [about the launch], because that was news to them," a spokeswoman for the Bureau of Land Management told The Washington Post. Turns out, Hughes had not applied to the local field office for the necessary permit.
"So, it turned out to be not a good thing," Hughes said.
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Also, the rocket launcher "broke down in the driveway" on Wednesday, Hughes said, NPR reported. He said in a YouTube video that they'd eventually gotten the launcher fixed — but it seems the major stumbling block is you can’t just build a rocket and decide to launch it over public land without a permit.
Original article: Flat Earther plans to launch himself in homemade rocket this weekend
You might have seen the meme that says, “If the Earth was flat, cats would have pushed everything off of it by now,” riffing on the feline delight of swiping or swatting your most precious belongings off of a shelf and on to the floor. That the Earth is round is a generally accepted fact, sort of like thunder is not actually God bowling and the rain isn’t Jesus crying because you didn’t eat all your vegetables. But there are flat Earthers, like Mike Hughes, who built a homemade rocket that he’s going to ride this weekend.
For the record, flat Earthers are people who believe the Earth is flat. Like Christopher Columbus did. Even after this astronomer guy in ancient Greece did some science and figured out the Earth was most likely curved. So what if Eratosthenes of Cyrene measured distance in travel-by-camel?
Hughes, a 61-year-old limo driver, spent years in his garage building a $20,000 steam-powered rocket. After Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales, Hughes plans to launch himself into the air proving once and for all that the world is actually flat and surrounded by a wall of ice.
"I don’t believe in science," Hughes told the Associated Press. "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 has a slew of sponsors listed on his personal website, including the group Research Flat Earth. Flat Earther "Mad" Mike Hughes said launch time is Saturday afternoon. He plans to fly over Amboy, a town in California with a population of four as of the 2000 census, and to travel up to 500 mph.
"If you’re not scared to death, you’re an idiot," Hughes said. "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."
This isn’t a brand new endeavor for Hughes who launched himself 1,374 feet into the air in 2014 on a previous rocket. He reportedly needed three days to recover from the G-force effects.
Flat Earthers and non-believers alike can peep the mission live on "Internet PPV," according to Hughes' website that touts him as a Guinness World Record daredevil. Should Saturday be a success for the rocket man, he told the AP he plans to build a rocket that will take him higher until he eventually makes his way into space and sees the bright blue gumball (or flat matzo) that we live on.
"Nothing is out of reach," Hughes said. "Anything can be done. You just have to put enough money, time and thought into it."