In case you’ve been blissfully unaware, there are still a seemingly large number of people who believe that the Earth isn’t actually round. If you search for more than a few minutes you’ll find plenty of YouTube videos and poorly-worded Tumblr posts explaining all the reasons why you shouldn’t believe actual scientists and why a round Earth makes so much more sense. Now, one of flat earth’s true believers wants to draw as much attention to the topic as possible, and he’s going to do so by shooting himself over a mile into the sky on a homemade rocket.
Mike Hughes, who has made it known that he doesn’t “believe in science,” has built a steam-powered rocket which he intends to ride into the sky. His aim doesn’t seem to be to put the flat earth debate to rest — at the altitude he’ll be reaching, he wouldn’t be able to see much of a curve, and even if he did it’s not like he’d admit it — but rather to promote a flat earth group that is helping to sponsor his flight.
Mike Hughes is a limo driver who has built his own steam-powered rocket. The 61-year-old plans to strap himself into his experimental rocket and blast off from a ghost town in the Mojave Desert. https://t.co/BMPGKBN72S pic.twitter.com/BSxdtNNLYR
— NBC10 Philadelphia (@NBCPhiladelphia) November 20, 2017
If you’ve ever debated a flat earther online — and if you haven’t, I probably wouldn’t advise it, because logic and reason are completely lost on them — you’ll usually reach a point where one of you says “If we could travel to space you’d see the truth.” The rocket Hughes plans to ride skyward isn’t capable of such a feat, but it’s better than nothing. As for the potential dangers of the flight, he’s well aware of the risks.
“If you’re not scared to death, you’re an idiot,” Hughes explained. “It’s scary as hell, but none of us are getting out of this world alive.” While that may be true, taking your life into your own hands with a steam-powered rocket still requires a mix of guts and stupidity.
Hughes certainly seems up for the challenge, though, as he’s already performed a manned flight on a different steam-powered rocket back in 2014. That flight, which traveled nearly 1,400 feet, resulted in a lengthy recovery for Hughes due to the forces of the launch. He’s hoping things will go more smoothly this time around, and even if it doesn’t solve anything in the flat earth debate, it’ll still be an impressive feat.