The self-proclaimed rocket man, Mike Hughes, finally succeeded in launching himself about 1,875 feet into the air in a home-made rocket on Saturday, March 24, before landing in the Mojave Desert. The launch took place in a dessert 320 km east of Los Angeles. Hughes is popularly known for his own theory that claims that the earth is flat.
Thankfully, the hard landing did not cause any serious damage to Hughes. He reported that he suffered no injury other than an aching back and some bruises.
“Relieved,” Hughes said. “I’m tired of people saying I chickened out and didn’t build a rocket. I’m tired of that stuff. I manned up and did it.”
The launch was originally planned to take place in November last year. But it was canceled after he failed to obtain a permit from the Bureau of Land Management to launch on a public land. He postponed the launch to February. But he encountered some technical problems in his second attempt. There was some problem with the actuator that prevented the rocket from igniting and lifting off. Finally, he decided to pull it off on March 24.
Notably, the condition on Saturday was not perfect for the launch, due to the high winds. But the 61-year-old daredevil was in no mood to cancel the rocket launch for the third time, so, he decided to proceed with the launch. He finally blasted off into the sky sometime after 3 p.m. PDT without a countdown.
Waldo Stakes, who has been helping Hughes with his endeavor, said that the rocket’s speed reached around 350 mph before Hughes pulled his parachute. He landed with a thud and the rocket’s nose broke in two places. He deployed two parachutes while landing.
Hughes next mission to build a Rockoon, a rocket that will be carried by a gas-filled balloon into the atmosphere, then separated from the balloon and lit.