- Self-taught rocket scientist Mad Mike Hughes has made at least three rocket launch attempts
- In his last attempt, he wanted to achieve an altitude of 5,000 feet in his rocket and prove that the earth was flat
- About three seconds after launch, a parachute is deployed from the rocket's fuselage but no one was seen using it
- The rocket then continued to accelerate and gained altitude to about 10 seconds before it started to descend
- It takes about another 12 seconds before the rocket hits the ground in the hilly dusty field off highway 247
- Mad Mike Hughes who was inside the capsule was pronounced dead after the rocket smashed the ground
- This happened in the presence of Science Channel production crew that was on site documenting the launch
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Mad Mike Hughes, a scientist known for amateur crewed rocketry, has died while attempting to launch his homemade rocket in Barstow, California.
Mad Mike crash landed his rocket on the afternoon of Saturday, 22 February, few seconds after take off in the presence of Science Channel production crew that was on site documenting the launch.
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In a statement, Science Channel condoled with Mad Mike's family stating that it had always been his dream to execute the launch of his rocket.
"Michael 'Mad Mike' Hughes tragically passed away today during an attempt to launch his homemade rocket.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends during this difficult time. It was always his dream to do this launch and Science Channel was there to chronicle his journey," the statement read.
In a video shot from the site, the steam powered rocket is seen dislodging from a truck that was anchoring it leaving behind a cloud of dust.
After about three seconds, a parachute is deployed from the rocket's fuselage but no one is seen using it.
The rocket then continued to accelerate and gained altitude to about 10 seconds before it started to descend.
It takes about another 12 seconds before the rocket hits the ground in the hilly dusty field off highway 247.
According to a report filed by CNN, Mad Mike wanted to use the launch as one of his experiments to prove that the earth was not spherical but flat.
The event was to be captured as broadcasted in a series by Science Channel known as Homemade Astronauts.
The self taught rocket scientist had hyped his Saturday launch on social media and he was aiming to strike a 5 000 feet altitude.
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