Surprise: Steam rocket man's flat-Earth flight grounded

Remember last week when we told you about "Mad" Mike Hughes, a self-proclaimed flat-Earther who decided to build a steam-powered rocket and use it to launch himself 1,800 feet up? That launch -which was also going to serve as the rocket's first test – was scheduled for this past Saturday, November 25. As people who have been following this news closely since last week can tell you, the launch never actually happened.

So, what's the deal? Why didn't Mad Mike launch himself into the sky on a homemade rocket? Though we wish we could tell you that Hughes has a moment of clarity where he decided that maybe this wasn't the best idea, he didn't. Instead, the government stepped in and told him that he wasn't going to be able to launch from a public site in Amboy, California.

Hughes explains his encounter with the Bureau of Land Management in a video that was uploaded to MGTV History's YouTube channel. The BLM told Hughes that he didn't have permission to launch from the location he had chosen, even though Hughes thought that he had the agency's verbal permission pending approval from the Federal Aviation Administration. In any case, the government prevented Hughes from launching his rocket on Saturday, as did a technical hiccup with the modified motor home he will launch the rocket from.

Ultimately, Hughes plans to create a rocket that can take him high enough to prove that the Earth we're living on is flat, not spherical. Though he only plans to launch 1,800 feet on this first flight, this is only one step toward realizing that goal. He's launched himself in a homemade rocket once before, and by his own admission, the landing after that launch put him "in a walker" for a few weeks afterward.

Now Hughes hopes to launch sometime in the next week, with the earliest window for launch being Tuesday. He's lined up someone with a private plot of land that's large enough to facilitate the launch, so he still plans to go through with it despite this delay. Here's hoping that some outside force manages to convince him that the Earth is indeed spherical before he hops in his homemade rocket, but considering he thinks that science isn't real, we're guessing that's nothing more than a fool's hope.

SOURCE: The Washington Post