Hot on the heels of the first ever Flat Earth International Conference (motto: Would you eat a ball of pizza?), an amateur rocket scientist is about to launch a homemade steam-powered (what’s that whistle?) craft into space (well, 1800 feet of space) in an attempt to prove his own belief that the Earth is flat (not to mention a few other conspiracy theories he touts) by bringing back a photograph of the flat planet (not to mention bringing himself back alive). Has the surreal once again surpassed the real? “It’ll shut the door on this ball earth. I don’t believe in science. I know about aerodynamics and fluid dynamics and how things move through the air, about the certain size of rocket nozzles, and thrust. But that’s not science, that’s just a formula. There’s no difference between science and science fiction.” That’s Mike Hughes in an interview in The Washington Post. Hughes does not appear to be related to real aviation pioneer Howard Hughes – he’s more like the late daredevil Evel Knievel of the ill-fated Snake Canyon rocket-powered motorcycle fame, although Hughes says he’s not a daredevil (even though his nickname is Mad Mike) but an engineer, albeit a homemade one. Hughes has one successful steam-powered flight to his credit – in 2014 he claimed to have set the world record of 1,374 feet for a manned steam-powered rocket. He tried to raise funds in 2016 for another flight, but his daytime limo-driver job doesn’t pay enough to budget for rocket parts. Read More: Mysterious Universe
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