Daredevil ‘Mad’ Mike Hughes has been killed after attempting to launch his homemade rocket, which crashed into the ground in California.
A video on social media shows a rocket being fired into the sky before plummeting to the ground nearby. The stunt was intended to launch Hughes 5,000 feet in the air and was going to be part of Discovery-owned new Science Channel series called Homemade Astronauts.
In a statement, Discovery has confirmed that Hughes passed away on Saturday during an attempt to launch his homemade rocket. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends during this difficult time,” the statement said. “It was always his dream to do this launch, and the Science Channel was there to chronicle his journey.”
Hughes, 64, was well-known for his belief that the Earth was flat and has hoped to prove his theory by going to space. He had often spoken about his motivations for the launch in a promotional video on the website. “People ask me why I do stuff like this and basically it’s just to convince people they can do things extraordinary with their lives and maybe it pushes people to do things they normally wouldn’t do with their life that maybe will inspire someone else,” He added at the end of the video, “We look forward to Saturday.”
Discovery earlier described Hughes’ plans as a “cosmic quest to explore the final frontier on a shoe-string budget.” The Science Channel had said it was following “three self-financed teams” pursuing these “sky-high dreams” as part of the Homemade Astronauts series.
“As ground-breaking and awe-inspiring as this event will be, it is only the first step towards an even more ambitious goal in space exploration,” the previous statement had said.
This was not the first time Hughes dared to take a risk with a homemade rocket. In March 2018, he soared into the sky on another homemade rocket in California, reportedly reaching speeds of around 350 mph before pulling his parachute, according to the Associated Press.