'Mad' Mike Hughes: Daredevil dies after failed launch in homemade rocket
23 February 2020, 15:32 | Updated: 23 February 2020, 15:35
Self-taught rocket scientist "Mad" Mike Hughes has been killed during an attempted launch in a homemade craft.
Michael Hughes, 64, was a US daredevil, limo driver and flat-Earther. He attempted a launch to reach an altitude of 5,000ft in a home-made, steam-powered rocket, according to Space.com.
In the video of the launch, a parachute can be seen trailing behind the rocket, but it was apparently deployed too early and the craft crashed into the Californian desert.
Science Channel said in a tweet that Hughes died pursuing his dream, writing: "Michael 'Mad Mike' Hughes tragically passed away today during an attempt to launch his homemade rocket.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends during this difficult time.
"It was always his dream to do this launch and Science Channel was there to chronicle his journey."
Michael 'Mad Mike' Hughes tragically passed away today during an attempt to launch his homemade rocket. Our thoughts & prayers go out to his family & friends during this difficult time. It was always his dream to do this launch & Science Channel was there to chronicle his journey pic.twitter.com/GxwjpVf2md— Science Channel (@ScienceChannel) February 23, 2020
Saturday's launch was reportedly filmed as part of Homemade Astronauts, a new TV series about amateur rocket makers and is set to be aired on the US Science Channel.
San Bernardino County Sheriff's Office confirmed it was investigating after officers responded to a fatal rocket crash in Barstow, CNN reported.
Hughes made international headlines in 2018 after blasting himself around 1,875ft into the air in a homemade rocket before landing with a bump.
His ambition was to reach 62miles into the air where the Earth's atmosphere meets space.
This was in order for him to take photographs of the Earth in an attempt to prove that it is flat.
He also set a Guinness World Record in 2002 for the longest limousine ramp jump after he jumped 103ft in a stretched limo.