Man dies in rocket mission to prove Earth is flat
A video of the tragic crash was widely circulated on social media.
Known as 'Mad' Mike, a 64-year-old US daredevil pilot was killed during an attempted launch of a homemade rocket in the Californian desert. Mike Hughes was hoping to reach an altitude of 5,000ft (1,525m) aboard his steam-powered rocket when it crash-landed shortly after take-off on Saturday.
BBC reported that the accident was filmed as part of Homemade Astronauts, a new TV series about amateur rocket makers, to be aired on the US Science Channel. Hughes and his partner Waldo Stakes Hughes as well as his assistants built the homemade rocket in his backyard for only around $18,000, according to Space.com.
A video of the tragic crash was widely circulated on social media and shows the rocket being fired into the sky with its parachute trailing behind. The parachute was apparently deployed too early within seconds after take-off.
Following the incident, the Science Channel said Hughes died pursuing his dream. He was well-known for his belief that the Earth was flat and hoped to prove his theory by going to space.
While, San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department said "a man was pronounced deceased after the rocket crashed in the open desert". Darren Shuster, a former representative for Hughes, told TMZ the daredevil was "one-of-a-kind" and that "when God made Mike he broke the mould. The man was the real deal and lived to push the edge. He wouldn't have gone out any other way! RIP".
In March last year, Hughes managed an altitude of 1,870 feet before deploying his parachutes and landing with a bump. He set a Guinness World Record in 2002 for the longest limousine jump - over 31 metres (103 ft) in a Lincoln Town Car limo, reported BBC.