Daredevil and flat-Earth advocate “Mad” Mike Hughes overcame months of hurdles and technical problems to blast off more than 1,800 feet into the sky Saturday in a homemade rocket near the Route 66 town of Amboy, California.
According to the Associated Press, Hughes’ steam-powered rocket rose 1,875 into the air before a rough landing in the Mojave Desert sand. Other than a sore back, Hughes said he was fine.
Sometime after 3 p.m. PDT, and without a countdown, Hughes’ rocket soared into the sky.
Hughes reached a speed that Stakes estimated to be around 350 mph before pulling his parachute. Hughes was dropping too fast, though, and he had to deploy a second one. He landed with a thud and the rocket’s nose broke in two places like it was designed to do.
“Relieved,” he said after being checked out by paramedics. “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.” […]
“Am I glad I did it? Yeah. I guess. I’ll feel it in the morning. I won’t be able to get out of bed. At least I can go home and have dinner and see my cats tonight.”
Carlos Aceves, town manager of Amboy, took video during the launch:
Hughes gets extracted from the rocket after it lands:
Here’s Hughes being checked out by paramedics:
Hughes endured a series of setbacks over his Amboy launch. First, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management refused to give him permission to launch on its property. After the launch site was moved to private property just south of town, technical problems forced the scrubbing of a Super Bowl Sunday blast-off.
Hughes, 61, who lives in another Route 66 town — Apple Valley, California — said his next mission scheduled for August is to launch a “Rockoon” — a rocket carried high up into the atmosphere by a balloon. The rocket then would separate and launch to a peak altitude of 68 miles.
This isn’t the first time Hughes tried to blast himself into the skies. His last launch in Arizona in 2014 went more than 1,300 feet. He needed three days to recover because of the G-forces.
Amboy owner Albert Okura, who owns the Juan Pollo restaurant chain in Southern California, signed off on the launch in his town. He bought Amboy — most famous for its historic Roy’s restaurant, gas station and motel — in 2005. Roy’s motel remains closed, but the gas station reopened, and the restaurant serves as a convenience store.
(GIF of “Mad” Mike Hughes’ rocket launch Saturday via YouTube video by Noize TV)