"Mad" Mike Hughes, a subject of the upcoming Science Channel production Homemade Astronauts, has died at the age of 64. The daredevil was killed after the rocket he was flying as part of the new series crashed according to The Wrap.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mike Hughes’ family and friends during this difficult time," a Science Channel statement read. "It was always his dream to do this launch, and Science Channel was there to chronicle his journey."
Hughes was one of three groups of self-financed teams that were aiming to take flight, including Ky Michaelson and Cameron Smith.
Reporter Justin Chapman was on hand for the tragic launch and shared video of the crash.
"Mad Mike Hughes just launched himself in a self-made steam-powered rocket and crash landed. Very likely did not survive," Chapman wrote along with the video.
PopCulture.com previously covered the upcoming Science Channel series ahead of Saturday's launch, describing the planned launch as one for the books.
Hughes and partner Waldo Stakes were determined to create a manned rocket that can launch into space, designing what they dubbed a "Rock-oon." The creation is seen as part rocket and part balloon, and the team hopes it will get Hughes into the skies near the Karman line, the border between Earth’s atmosphere and outer space. This would put Hughes at about 62 miles above the ground if he succeeded. Hughes' launch on Saturday was a 5,000 feet high attempt in a steam-powered rocket.
Hughes was previously the subject of the documentary Rocketman: Mad Mike's Mission to Prove the Flat Earth which followed his journey to reach into the skies and the troubles that followed him. He described his previous launches during an interview with the Associated Press, with the outlet describing a launch that reached 350 miles per hour but still faced a rough landing.
"This thing wants to kill you 10 different ways," said Hughes at the time. "This thing will kill you in a heartbeat."
And despite being connected to the flat earth conspiracy movement, Hughes told the AP in 2018 that he doesn't consider himself to be on a mission to prove the Earth is flat.
"Do I believe the Earth is shaped like a Frisbee? I believe it is," he said. "Do I know for sure? No. That’s why I want to go up in space."0comments
Hughes' representative Darren Shuster was contacted by TMZ who noted he was not at the launch Saturday but believed Hughes did indeed perish, calling him one-of-a-kind.
"When God made Mike he broke the mold. The man was the real deal and lived to push the edge. He wouldn’t have gone out any other way! RIP," Shuster told the outlet.