Mike Hughes, the flat-earther who gained public attention with his plan to launch himself into the air in a homemade rocket, has finally blasted himself off into California sky.
The rocketeer launched himself about 1,875 feet into the air on Saturday, March 24, aboard his Liberty One rocket before he landed in the Mojave Desert.
Hughes sustained some bruises and had a minor back injury from the hard landing. His steam-powered rocket was also damaged but he came down in one piece. It was also finally mission accomplished after two failed attempts.
"I'm tired of people saying I chickened out and didn't build a rocket," he said. I manned up and did it."
Third Time's A Charm
Hughes first announced his plan to launch himself in a homemade rocket in November last year but he canceled the feat after failing to get a permit from the Bureau of Land Management that would allow him to launch on a public land.
He was supposed to make a second attempt in February but he encountered technical problems. The self-taught rocket scientist said that a problem with the actuator prevented his rocket from igniting and lifting off.
Hughes worked on overhauling the rocket in his garage after this and decided to have his third attempt near Amboy, California on Saturday.
"Everything is ready to reassemble back inside the propulsion system," Hughes posted on Facebook on March 11. "I will open the launch up to all the media / looks like march 24."
The Show Must Go On
Conditions on Saturday initially threatened another cancellation. The wind was blowing and the rocket was losing steam but the 61-year-old daredevil decided to proceed with the launch. Hughes finally blasted off into the sky sometime after 3 p.m. PDT without a countdown.
Waldo Stakes, who has been helping Hughes with his endeavor, said that the rocket's speed reached around 350 mph before Hughes pulled his parachute. Hughes had to deploy a second parachute since he was dropping too fast. The rocket landed about 1,500 from the launch ramp with its nose broken in two pieces.
The launch was green-lighted by Albert Okura, who bought the desert town in 2005. Okura, who was there at the launch. said that the event lasted between three and four minutes. He said that Hughes branded Amboy as "Rocket Town" and it was amazing.
Here is a video of the launch uploaded on YouTube.