Flat-Earther shoots homemade rocket, and self, 1,875 feet up

After a number of failed attempts, flat-Earth "researcher" Mike Hughes finally gets his rocket, and himself, skyward to prove a point.

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Mark Serrels
2 min read
Matt Hartman

After a number of failed attempts, Mike Hughes, the flat-Earther determined to send his homemade rocket high enough to prove the world isn't round, finally succeeded.

Well, maybe that's a stretch. He propelled himself 1,875 feet (572 meters) into the air in the Mojave Desert, California, before plummeting back to Earth safely.

He told the Associated Press he was a bit banged up, but he's fine.

"I'm tired of people saying I chickened out and didn't build a rocket," he said. "I'm tired of that stuff. I manned up and did it." 

Previously Hughes had to cancel his launches as a result of issues with Bureau of Land Management. After building a better launch platform, he was good to go.

Matt Hartman captured the launch

No word yet on whether Hughes believes his experiment proves or disproves flat-Earth theory, but he's always maintained that wasn't the goal. He believes the Earth is frisbee shaped.

Hughes is happy regardless.

"Am I glad I did it? Yeah. I guess," he said. "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."

The launch had its issues, which is why, according to Hughes, the rocket only managed to hit 1,875 feet. They had planned to hit 350 psi for thrust but could only hit 340 as a result of less-than-ideal conditions.

The next step for Hughes is a "Rockoon", essentially a rocket that transforms into a balloon after launch, which will allow Hughes to fly higher. Sixty-eight miles up, Hughes believes.

A film crew is following Hughes for a documentary set for release in August.