A California man intends to launch himself 1,800 feet high on Saturday in a home-built rocket to prove that astronauts faked the shape of the Earth.
Mike Hughes, a 61-year-old limo driver, said his stunt will be the first phase of the flat-Earth space program, sponsored by Research Flat Earth, a group that believes Earth is, well, flat.
The rocket should travel about a mile at a speed of roughly 500 mph.
“If you’re not scared to death, you’re an idiot,” Hughes said. “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.”
"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."
He claims to have built the steam-powered rocket out of scrap metal parts in his garage. The project cost around $20,000, including the purchase of a motor home off Craigslist that was converted into a ramp.
The daredevil’s aim is to get miles above Earth and snap a photo, proving that astronauts conspired to fabricate the shape of the planet.
“I don’t believe in science,” Hughes said. “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.”
"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."
During an interview with a flat-Earth group in June, Hughes said his project will “shut the doors on this ball Earth.” But he acknowledged that he had much to learn about rocket science.
“This whole tech thing, I'm really behind the eight ball," he said.
Hughes, however, is not an absolute amateur when it comes to rocket science. He built his first rocket in 2014 and flew a quarter-mile in Arizona, though the flight left him injured.
But the Saturday’s planned launch will pose a challenge to the daredevil. Not only was the 2014 flight a quarter of the distance he expects to fly this Saturday, the previous rocket was based on round-earth technology, the Washington Post reported.
The project received the backing of the flat-earth community in America after Hughes became a flat-Earth supporter.
"We were kind of looking for new sponsors for this. And I'm a believer in the flat Earth," Hughes told the host of a flat-earth web show, the Post reported. "I researched it for several months."
According to the host, Hughes was a real explorer of scientific secrets and “not compromised by the government.”
“John Glenn and Neil Armstrong are Freemasons," Hughes said. "Once you understand that, you understand the roots of the deception."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.