No matter how the story ends, this is going to be awesome.

Before you rush off to your family dinners and celebrations, we should take a moment today and give a tip of the hat to a man with a vision. I’m not sure if this is one of those visions which result from too many doses of hallucinogenic drugs or something, but it’s clearly a vision of some sort. A California man by the name of Mike Hughes is going to finish his turkey dinner, take a couple of days to make some final preparations and then launch himself into the sky in a rocket of his own design on Saturday. But this is no challenger to Elon Musk we’re talking about here. Mike is using steam power for his spacecraft and the reason for the flight is even more spectacular. He’s going to prove that the Earth is flat. (Washington Post)

Seeking to prove that a conspiracy of astronauts fabricated the shape of the Earth, a California man intends to launch himself 1,800 feet high on Saturday in a rocket he built from scrap metal.

Assuming the 500-mph, mile-long flight through the Mojave Desert does not kill him, Mike Hughes told the Associated Press, his journey into the atmosflat will mark the first phase of his ambitious flat-Earth space program.

Hughes’s ultimate goal is a subsequent launch that puts him miles above the Earth, where the 61-year-old limousine driver hopes to photograph proof of the disc we all live on.

“It’ll shut the door on this ball earth,” Hughes said in a fundraising interview with a flat-Earth group for Saturday’s flight. Theories discussed during the interview included NASA being controlled by round-Earth Freemasons and Elon Musk making fake rockets from blimps.

Just to be clear, this isn’t Hughs’ first attempt. He’s been building steam-powered rockets for a while now. Check out this flight he took in 2014. It actually worked. Sort of. Well… kind of. Aside from nearly being killed. (Video is only a minute long.)

He’s known by the moniker “Mad Mike” but is he really crazy? More to the point, I have to wonder if he even believes in this Flat Earth stuff or if that’s just a hook to draw more of an audience. I mean, how does anyone buy into that idea if they have enough of an IQ to tie their own shoes? (With apologies to a couple of NBA players.) Come on, man. Even I laugh at the Flat Earth people and I pay for a yearly Plus membership at Mysterious Universe.

All joking aside, my first impression when I heard about this story was to assume that on Saturday, Hughs is going to die. Or at least be horribly maimed. But now that I’ve seen some of his exploits on film, he does indeed seem to have learned enough of the basic mechanics involved to build a functional rocket powered by steam. But now he’s shooting for a one-mile flight at speeds in excess of 500 mph. How far can this guy push his luck before a mistake becomes terminal?

And even worse, what if he reaches the desired altitude and takes a picture, only to find out that the world is round after all? I hate to burst the guy’s bubble but I’ve actually traveled the entire way around the globe, leaving from California heading west and coming back home from the east. Trust me, Mike… there’s no edge.

But we’ll end with the same question I was circling around above. Can Mike Hughes actually do this and not die? Hey… Evel Knievel lived to be nearly 70 and wound up dying of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Stranger things have happened and I sort of miss the age of the original daredevils. Give ’em hell, Mike. And if you do find an edge to the world, try to be careful. That first step is a doozy.