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Mad Mike Hughes had a mission, to launch himself into outer space. He believed the earth was flat, and the only way to prove it was to go up into space and take a photo of the flat earth.

He did not trust others to document the truth, he would only believe it if he saw it with his own eyes.

In 2014, he launched a rocket, with himself in it, that achieved a height of 1,374 feet. Injuries from the crash forced him to use a walker during his recovery.

In 2018, a second launch achieved a height of 1,875 feet before crashing. This time Mike escaped with little more than a sore back. Hughes reached a speed that an assistant, Waldo Stakes, estimated to be around 350 mph before deploying a parachute. Hughes was dropping too fast, though, and he had to send out a second one. Despite the two parachutes, it was a rough landing.

“Am I glad I did it?” Hughes said. “Yeah. I guess. I’ll feel it in the morning. I won’t be able to get out of bed. At least I can go home and have dinner and see my cats tonight.”

But he was determined to keep trying, in spite of everyone telling him it was foolish. He told the press:

"If you’re not scared to death, you’re an idiot, it’s scary as hell, but none of us are getting out of this world alive. I like to do extraordinary things that no one else can do, and no one in the history of mankind has designed, built and launched himself in his own rocket."

"I don’t believe in science, i know about aerodynamics and fluid dynamics and how things move through the air, about the certain size of rocket nozzles, and thrust. But that’s not science, that’s just a formula. There’s no difference between science and science fiction."

On February 22, 2020, he made a third attempt. It was not FAA approved, nor was his space ship deemed safe. Earlier attempts to launch it without a rider had failed. But he tried anyway. The parachute deployed early, sending the steam powered rocket out of control. It crashed in the desert, killing him.

Mike didn't believe in science, but in his quest to prove it wrong, he plummeted to his death.

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