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Self-taught rocketman launches mission to prove Earth is flat

China Daily | Updated: 2017-11-24 07:54

NEW YORK - A self-taught rocket scientist in the United States will launch himself into the sky with a homemade rocket in a bid to prove the Earth is flat.

"Mad" Mike Hughes, as he is known, built the rocket out of scrap metal in his garage.

The location of the jump will be Amboy, a ghost town in the Mojave Desert and along the historic Route 66. The fictional town of Radiator Springs in the Disney movie Cars was loosely based on Amboy.

Hughes got permission from the town's owner, Albert Okura, who purchased the rights to Amboy in 2005 for $435,000. The launch will take place on an air strip next to a dilapidated hangar.

"It is absolutely the most wacky promotional proposal I have had since I purchased the entire town in 2005," said Okura, who's also the founder of the Juan Pollo restaurant chain. "He is a true daredevil and I want to be part of it."

The 61-year-old limousine driver's project has cost him $20,000, which includes cheap paint to fancy it up and a motor home he bought on the internet that he converted into a ramp.

The rocket will travel at a speed of around 804 kilometers per hour and reach 167 meters high, Hughes claimed, adding that the 1.6 km flight will be streamed on his You-Tube channel.

"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.

"I'm a walking reality show."

The ultimate goal for the man is to build a rocket that can take him to the space, where he can get a photograph proving the Earth is flat.

"Flat Earth" theorists like Hughes contend that the Earth is a disk, not a globe, criticizing a "conspiracy" of astronauts to fabricate the shape of the Earth.

"I don't believe in science," said Hughes, whose main sponsor for the rocket is Research Flat Earth. "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."

Following the jump, which is scheduled for between 2 pm and 3 pm, Hughes said he's going to announce his plans to leap into the race for governor of California.

First things first: this jump over a ghost town. He will be tinkering with his rocket right up to takeoff.

"A guy who builds his own rocket in his garage, about to jump a mile, is pretty cool," Hughes said. "It's the most interesting human-interest story in the world."

Xinhua - Ap

Self-taught rocketman launches mission to prove Earth is flat

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