A 61-year-old American, who believes the earth is flat, will launch himself in a homemade rocket in the Mojave Desert on Saturday.
Flat Earth Believer To Launch Steam-Powered Rocket
A flat-Earth enthusiast who claims not to believe in science plans to launch himself 550 meters above California's Mojave Desert in a homemade steam rocket on Saturday, the Associated Press reported.
According to the report, the 61-year-old limousine driver "Mad" Mike Hughes, built the rocket and its launch ramp himself for about $20,000 USD.
If all goes according to plan, the contraption will accelerate to a top speed of 800 km/h and travel about 1.6 kilometers away from the launch site, a ghost town called Amboy.
AP reported that Hughes will make a parachute-aided touchdown.
Hughes believes in the flat-Earth conspiracy theory, according to AP.
But Saturday's liftoff won't get Hughes nearly high enough to gather any photographic evidence about our planet's shape — which is an oblate spheroid — but such a mission may be in Mad Mike's future, Science.com reprted.
He and a collaborator have discussed building a "rockoon" — a rocket that launches after being carried aloft by a balloon — that could get up to an altitude of 109 km, the AP reported.
Hughes' refusal to accept the truth about the Earth's shape might make you skeptical about Saturday's launch, and about the future rockoon project, Science.com reported. If so, his own words probably won't do much to bring you around.
"I don’t believe in science," Hughes said, according to 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."