Mike "Mad" Hughes died on the launch of his own rocket last Saturday. Hughes was known for creating and launching his own rockets. The 64-year-old was trying to project himself at a height of 1500 meters in a desert area of Barstow, California.
Here is a video of his first attempt in 2018, where the pilot managed to take off and reach an altitude of 571 meters, landing by parachute in a row. Despite having suffered spinal injuries, the pilot did not give up on his goal.
Initially, local authorities responded to the incident of a man pronounced dead following a rocket launch, with Hughes not immediately identified. The Science Channel eventually confirmed Hughes' identity and death.
Hughes made several attempts during his life
Hughes' most recent attempt, following his success in 2018, took place in August 2019. However, the attempt was thwarted due to a defective radiator. Given the nature of the rocket, built by Hughes himself, problems and defects would be expected.
His first attempt, in 2017, was also failed due to the federal government not giving Hughes permission to launch the rocket on public land. Frustrated, Hughes ended up making the consequent launches on a private property.
Hughes and his partner Waldo Stakes were part of the Science Channel's "Home Astronauts" program. The series consists of watching 3 teams while they build rockets. The final objective was to reach the Kármán line, a point with an altitude of about 100 kilometers.
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