"Mad" Mike Hughes, who in 2018 successfully launched himself to 1,875 feet in a homemade rocket, died over the weekend during an attempt to reach 5,000 feet in a steam powered rocket when his parachutes failed (you can see them get ripped away as the rocket takes off). Some more details while I go around the office insisting the earth is flat in Mike's memory and trying to fistfight anybody who argues with me:
In August 2019, he told Space.com his launch was inspired by President Trump and walked back his earlier statement to the AP that his plans were motivated by a desire to prove flat Earth theories.
"I believe the Earth is flat," Hughes told Space.com. But "this flat Earth has nothing to do with the steam rocket launches," he added. "It never did. It never will. I'm a daredevil!"
"People ask me why I do stuff like this," Hughes said toward the end of the video, "and basically it's just to convince people they can do things extraordinary with their lives, and maybe it pushes people do things that they normally wouldn't do with their life, and maybe it'll inspire someone else."
So he believed the earth was flat but his rocket launches didn't actually have anything to do with proving that, he was just a daredevil who wanted to convince people they can do extraordinary things with their lives. So, uh -- does that make him a hero? "Maybe an ignorant one." Whatever the case -- Godspeed, Mike. "He was an atheist." Speed, Mike.
Keep going for a video of the fateful launch and crash.
Thanks to everyone who sent this, who agree if Mike taught us one thing, it's absolutely nothing about the curvature of the earth, but to live life to the fullest.