Late last year, the Flat Earth movement gained a new hero and a new public face. Self-taught rocket scientist “Mad” Mike Hughes went public with his plan to launch himself nearly two-thousand feet into the atmosphere on a self-made steam rocket. Perhaps validating his painted image of a persecuted genius, Hughes finally made true his boast and launched himself into the air and surviving to tell the tale. But not to answer the biggest question of all.
Hughes would have launched back in November but bemoaned the forces at work against him. Namely government red tape. But in addition to legal hurdles, Hughes was naturally criticized, ridiculed, and doubted. Being a Flat Earther isn’t exactly a popular position to be in these days. Especially when you’re trying to build a steam-powered rocket to try to prove that the Earth is just one giant Frisbee.
And what could go wrong? After all, Hughes has spent years on studying the intricacies of rocket-making, long enough to know that one doesn’t have to burn so much fuel to launch one into space when steam would do just as well. Hughes didn’t have any illusions that anything could go wrong at any moment. Which is why he had a second parachute built into the rocket, which he promptly deployed after the first one seemed ineffective at slowing down his fall.
As for the big question of whether the earth is flat or not, Hughes hasn’t been able to see that yet. The rocket only took him as high as 1,800 feet, not enough to make that conclusion. Of course, the rocket is just the first milestone. He plans on launching another one from a gas-filled balloon that would take him up a total of 68 miles up. Again, what could possibly go wrong.
SOURCE: Associated Press