Self-described daredevil and flat-earth believer “Mad” Mike Hughes has once again canceled the launch of his homemade rocket. This launch was scheduled to take place on Saturday, February 3, but Hughes canceled the event at the last minute for unknown reasons.
Hughes, a limo driver, has not yet revealed the new date for his rocket launch.
Earlier, Hughes had attempted to launch his rocket from the Route 66 ghost town of Amboy, California, in November last year. But, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management nixed the plan at the last minute, stating that the launch site was located too close to the federal property. Frustrated by the Bureau’s decision, Hughes shifted the site to a private property located outside of Amboy off Route 66. According to RT.com, this land belongs to Albert Okura, a native Californian and the founder of the Juan Pollo restaurant chain.
If successful, the February 3 launch of Hughes’ rocket would have taken him about 1,800 feet above the surface of the earth at a speed of up to 500 mph, before returning back to the ground gently with the help of a parachute. Hughes had planned to broadcast the event live on Noize TV at a cost of $5 per viewer. He had warned that any drones found hovering near the launch site would be shot down. Spectators were not permitted to enter the launch site.
According to the Washington Post, this is not the first time that Hughes tried to launch himself into the skies. He first launched himself in Arizona using another rocket that went more than 1,300 feet in the air. Hughes also plans to launch himself about 52 miles into the sky to see whether the earth is flat (like a Frisbee) or round (as believed by most humankind and claimed by the scientists). However, a big problem in Hughes’ ambitious project is the high cost of the rocket pack, hot-air balloon, and the space suit (all costing approximately $2 million). Hughes can’t afford to buy these expensive items, and therefore he wants to convince people to contribute money for the final phase of his project by first launching himself 1,800 feet in the air.
Hughes became an internet sensation in November last year after several news magazines covered his story, revealing that Hughes will soon launch himself into the air with his homemade rocket. He became popular, and people keenly waited for the launch event, which, sadly, never happened. People criticized him on social media and even mocked him for being a flat-earth advocate. Many suggested that it was his strategy to raise funds for his weird stunts.
“The flat-earth stuff, it makes people crazy,” Hughes told the Washington Post.
“No matter what I do, people are going to minimize it.”
Hughes said he will win back the public’s faith with a successful rocket launch on February 3, 2018.
He also posted a video on his Facebook page, stating that he never claimed that the earth is flat. He said he would accept that the earth is round if he sees a curved horizon after going into space.