Tech & Science

Man Who Hopes to Prove the Earth Is Flat in His Homemade Rocket Postpones His Plans

11_24_Space
In this NASA handout, the umbra, or moon's shadow, passes over Earth during the total eclipse Monday, August 21, 2017. Viewing the eclipse from orbit were NASA's Randy Bresnik, Jack Fischer and Peggy Whitson, ESA (European Space Agency's) Paolo Nespoli, and Roscosmos Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and Sergey Ryazanskiy. The space station crossed the path of the eclipse three times as it orbited above the continental United States at an altitude of 250 miles. NASA via Getty Images

In an effort to prove the Earth is flat, 61-year-old “Mad” Mike Hughes plans to launch himself thousands of feet in the air in a homemade rocket. But his launch—which was originally set for Saturday—has been postponed, The Washington Post reported Friday afternoon.

Hughes was originally planning to conduct his experiment over Amboy, a ghost town situated along Route 66 in California, that has a population of 4. However, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) reportedly informed him that he cannot launch his scrap metal rocket on public land.

According to Hughes, the federal agency told him his experiment was a no-go, but Samantha Storms, BLM spokeswoman, said she was unaware of any communication between the self-taught rocket scientist and the agency.

"Someone from our local office reached out to him after seeing some of these news articles [about the launch], because that was news to them," Storms told The Washington Post.

Despite the setback, Hughes says his launch will go on.

“It's still happening. We're just moving it three miles down the road,” Hughes said. “This is what happens anytime you have to deal with any kind of government agency.”

If successful, Hughes’ rocket will launch him a mile into the sky at 500 miles per hour, according to the Associated Press.

“If you’re not scared to death, you’re an idiot,” he told the AP. “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.”

This is not his first go around. In January 2014, he launched himself 1,374 feet in the sky aboard a different homemade rocket. Upon landing on the ground, he collapsed and spent a few days recovering from his launch. At the time, he wasn’t a flat-Earth believer (like rapper B.o.B), but his ideology has since changed, The Washington Post reports.

His main sponsor for his latest launch is a group called Research Flat Earth, whose name is inscribed in large, bold letters on the side of his rocket. This launch is just the first phase of his journey to prove the Earth is flat. In the future, he hopes to travel to space and take a picture of the disk-shaped Earth.

“I don’t believe in science,” Hughes told the AP. “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.”

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