BARSTOW, Calif. (AP) — A California man who said he wanted to fly to the edge of outer space to see if the world is flat or round has died after his home-built rocket blasted off into the desert sky and plunged back to earth.
“Mad" Mike Hughes was killed on Saturday after his rocket crashed near Barstow, California.
Waldo Stakes, a colleague who was at the rocket launch, said Hughes, who was 64, was killed.
The Science Channel said on Twitter it had been chronicling Hughes' journey and sent thoughts and prayers to his family and friends.
Justin Chapman, a freelance journalist, told The Associated Press that he and his wife witnessed the crash. Chapman said the rocket appeared to rub against the launch apparatus, which might have torn the parachutes attached to it. He said the rocket went straight into the ground.