61-year-old ‘Mad’ Mike Hughes is all set to launch himself aboard his self-built steam-powered rocket. The limo driver and self-taught rocket scientist spent the last few years building the rocket out of salvage parts in his garage, which cost him $20,000 – including Rust-Oleum paint to fancy it up and a motor home he bought on Craigslist that he converted into a ramp.
He will travel about a mile at a speed of roughly 500 mph.
I’m a walking reality show.
Hughes has been called many things – from eccentric to quirly to foolhardy – but that is the least of his worries.
He believes the Earth is flat despite being aware that it is a conundrum, given that he’s about to launch himself into the atmosphere.
This rocket is his second creation and launch. In January 2014, Hughes jumped on a private property in Wink Elman, Arizona and traveled 1,374 feet. He collapsed after that landing — the G-forces taking a toll — and needed three days to recover.
On the morning of the launch, Hughes will heat about 70 gallons of water in a stainless steel tank and then blast off between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. He plans to go about a mile — reaching an altitude of about 1,800 feet — before pulling two parachutes.
The location of the jump will be Amboy, a ghost town in the Mojave Desert and along historic Route 66. The fictional town of Radiator Springs in the Disney movie “Cars” was loosely based on Amboy.