UFO Buster Radio News – 345: ‘Mad’ Mike Hughes and SpaceX To Save The Artic
Daredevil ‘Mad’ Mike Hughes Killed In Crash Of Homemade Rocket
The daredevil “Mad” Mike Hughes was killed in a rocket launch gone wrong Saturday in Barstow, Calif., two witnesses to the accident confirmed. He was 64.
It was the third launch for Hughes in one of his homemade rockets and part of his eventual plan to be able to determine for himself, up in the sky, if Earth was as flat as he proclaimed to believe.
A steel ladder was attached to the rocket’s launch ramp to make it easier for Hughes to enter the cockpit. But when the rocket launched, it hit the ladder, setting the launch on course for disaster.
“It ripped off a parachute can, which deployed the parachute, which got caught in the thrust of the rocket and kind of took the rocket off course a little bit,” said Justin Chapman, a freelance journalist who was at the launch site.
The steam-powered rocket wobbled and did a huge arc before crashing less than a minute later.
“He went way up in the sky,” Chapman said. “I’m not sure how high. But his goal was 5,000 feet. Then it did an arc and then came straight down and nose-dived into the desert floor about half a mile away from the launch pad.”
Hughes also launched in Winkelman, Ariz., in 2014, traveling 1,374 feet, according to the AP.
Before taking up rocketry, Hughes was a stuntman who jumped limousines. He holds the record for the longest limousine ramp jump, according to Guinness World Records. Hughes jumped a 6,500-pound Lincoln Town Car stretch limo 103 feet at Perris Auto Speedway in 2002.
“He was trying to re-create the Snake River Canyon jump that Evel Knievel tried years ago,” Chapman said. “And I think that ultimately didn’t come together. But he did just jump limos over big distances and then moved on to building his own rockets and launching himself that way.”
“He was often lonely and felt his accomplishments as a daredevil had been forgotten,” they wrote. “Ultimately, he just wanted to lead a meaningful life. He had very little money, but he found a way to bring excitement and purpose to his life by doing affordable stunts with rockets that he built himself using spare parts.”
Chapman says that Hughes “fully understood the risks” of his rocket launches. “He knew very well, he said very often, that this thing could kill you, he was very well aware of that. He was a daredevil and he was driven by this compulsion to do extraordinary things and inspire people, as he put it.”
Stakes simply called Hughes the “greatest daredevil this country has ever seen.”
Launch Service Agreement contract winners Blue Origin, Northrop Grumman and United Launch Alliance have filed ‘motions to intervene’ in the lawsuit filed by SpaceX
WASHINGTON — A lawsuit filed May 17 by SpaceX against the U.S. government was made public on Wednesday. In the 79-page redacted bid protest, SpaceX challenges the U.S. Air Force’s Oct. 10 decision to award development contracts to its competitors and exclude SpaceX.
SpaceX’s bid protest with the Court of Federal Claims challenges the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center’s decision to deny SpaceX a Launch Service Agreement contract as “arbitrary and capricious and contrary to law.”
Will SpaceX and OneWeb help the military stay connected in the Arctic?
The military wants to experiment with commercial satellites from OneWeb and SpaceX’s Starlink mega-constellations to keep war fighters connected in the Arctic, but it will need extra funding to do so.
Those companies aim to provide internet access via proliferated constellations made up of thousands of small satellites in low earth orbit. The military has been keen on leveraging this growing commercial capability, and the Air Force has awarded contracts to test how the satellite broadband service can be used by war fighters.
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