A California man named Mad Mike Hughes will be taking a maiden voyage in his homemade rocket on Saturday, in an effort to prove that the Earth is flat.
For those unfamiliar with the Flat-Earther movement, it's a recent resurgence of an old conspiracy theory that the Earth is flat, which scientists believed up until a couple hundred years ago. The theory is that the government, NASA, and the powers that be in general have colluded to misinform the world's population about our place in the cosmos.
The theory suggests that the Earth is actually a flat disk, surrounded by a wall of ice, and that all space travel and photography have been a hoax. There are many variations on the theory -- some suggest that the moon is a hologram put in place by extra terrestrials, some say that outer space as we know it does not exist, all say that the "ball earth" is a sham.
Whatever particular version he subscribes to, Mike Hughes intends to get up there take a picture, and find out for himself. The 61-year-old limo driver has spent the last several years building a steam-powered rocket in his garage, using scrap metal and supplies purchased through Craigslist.
Hughes has done this in the past. He successfully launched himself 1,374 feet in a homemade rocket back in 2014, though it took him three days to recover from that flight.
This time, he intends to fly at least a mile over the Mojave dessert, reaching speeds of about 500 MPH.
Saturday's flight isn't even the endgame for Hughes. The $20,000 rocket he's launching this weekend is only another stepping stone to the one he hopes to build one day to get himself all the way up into the atmosphere.
"It's scary as hell," Hughes conceded in an interview with the Associated Press, "but none of us are getting out of this world alive."
Hughes says the launch will be available to stream via a link on his personal website.