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Flat-Earther 'Mad' Mike Hughes dies during rocket launch attempt

He'd planned to launch himself 5,000 feet into the air.

Science Channel

"Mad" Mike Hughes, the amateur astronaut who previously attempted to fly himself skyward in a rocket to prove the Earth is flat, has died in his latest attempt to launch himself in a homemade rocket in Barstow, California.

The Science Channel, which was tracking Hughes's attempts, announced the news via Twitter over the weekend.

"Michael 'Mad Mike' Hughes tragically passed away today during an attempt to launch his homemade rocket," reads the statement. "Our thoughts & prayers go out to his family & friends during this difficult time. It was always his dream to do this launch."

In March 2019, Hughes made it 1,875 feet (572 meters) before plummeting back to Earth safely. This time around the goal was to fly 5,000 feet in the air as part of a Homemade Astronauts show for the Science Channel. According to the Washington Post a crowd of around 50 people watched Hughes as the rocket's safety parachute ripped off immediately after launch. The shuttle crashed hundreds of metres away and a support team went to investigate.

Hughes, 64, was previously a stuntman, who once held a Guinness Book world record for landing a 103-foot jump in a stretch limo. But he spent the majority of his later years as one of the most famous proponents of flat-Earth theory.

"The Flat Earth thing is like everything else to me," he told CBS news, back in 2018. "I just want people to question everything."