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There's been a lot of talk about the Flat Earth movement recently. One of the main proponents of the notion that the world isn't, in fact, a sphere but a flat disc surrounded by ice, is 'Mad' Mike Hughes.
The 61-year-old limo driver and self-taught 'rocket scientist' made the news recently after he planned to fly a self-made rocketship, which he's spent the last few years building, high into the sky just so he could look down and prove that he's right.
He was due to launch himself into the atmosphere on Saturday and do away with millennia of scientific research but, sadly for him, there were a couple of hitches.
The first is that the Californian resident didn't actually get the necessary permission for his little expedition. Although the owner of Amboy, the ghost town in the Mojave desert where Mr Hughes was going to launch from, had okay-ed his mission, federal authorities contacted him to say otherwise.
"We were contacted by the bureau of land management and they informed me that they are not going to allow me to do the event there, at least at that location," said Mr Hughes in a YouTube video.
The second snag is that, as he was about to set off for on the expedition, his vehicle decided it didn't want to work.
"When we were actually ready to leave and go to Amboy," he said. "The motorhome-slash-rocket launcher broke down in the driveway. I just fixed it about two hours ago."
Given that his steam-powered space vehicle - which he has spent years and about $20,000 building - has been cobbled together from salvaged parts found in his garage, that's perhaps not surprising.
He had intended to launch it from a motorhome he had bought on Craigslist and subsequently turned into a launchpad. As you do.
"I like to do extraordinary things that no one else can do," he told the Associated Press. "And no one in the history of mankind has designed, built and launched himself in his own rocket."
We're guessing nobody has told him about Elon Musk and his SpaceX project.
Still, Mr Hughes seems undeterred, and still plans to fly his homemade science project high enough into the sky to obtain 'photographic evidence' that the Earth is flat.
"If you're not scared to death, you're an idiot," he said. "It's scary as hell, but none of us are getting out of this world alive.
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