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Flat Earth astronaut dies in rocket crash

An amateur American astronaut who said he wanted to prove the Earth is flat has been killed in the crash of his homemade rocket in California, the Science Channel, which filmed the launch, said.
An amateur American astronaut who said he wanted to prove the Earth is flat has been killed in the crash of his homemade rocket in California, the Science Channel, which filmed the launch, said.
Image: CNBS Youtube/ screenshot

An amateur American astronaut who said he wanted to prove the Earth is flat has been killed in the crash of his homemade rocket in California,  the Science Channel, which filmed the launch, said.

A stuntman by profession, Michael “Mad Mike” Hughes, 64, launched himself on Saturday in a steam-powered rocket that he built in the backyard of his home in Barstow, California.

His goal, he said was to ascend more than 1,500m to prove that the Earth is not round but shaped like a frisbee.

His spokesperson Darren Shuster said the flat Earth claim was merely to drum up publicity for the launch.

“I don't think he believed it,” Shuster said.

Images of the launch, carried out in the desert in front of a crowd of horrified witnesses, circulated on social media.

A parachute can be seen tearing away from the rocket moments after the launch, as the spacecraft loops downward and crashes several hundred metres from the launch site.

Explaining why he wanted to do it, Hughes said, “Just to convince people that they can do extraordinary things with their lives ... Maybe it will inspire someone else.” — AFP

 

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