stuff that’s hard to do (this-won’t-end-well edition)

“Mad” Mike Hughes, limousine driver and self-proclaimed flat-Earther, announced that he had to delay his plan to launch himself 1,800 feet high in a rocket of his own making. The launch, which he has billed as a crucial first step toward ultimately photographing our disc-world from space, had been scheduled for Saturday — before the Bureau of Land Management got wind of the plan and barred him from using public land in Amboy, Calif.

Also, the rocket launcher he had built out of a used motor home “broke down in the driveway” …. [story]

“I don’t believe in science,” Hughes added. “I know about aerodynamics and fluid dynamics and how things move through the air, about the certain size of rocket nozzles, and thrust. But that’s not science, that’s just a formula. There’s no difference between science and science fiction.” [story]

Well, yeah, Mike, there is — it’s called “engineering.”
Engineers design things using science, not science fiction.
Those formulas you used are scientifically established facts and principles expressed in a way that engineers can use in order to make things actually work.
(See also: real-world constraints and resources such as budget, schedule, performance, reliability, law, availability, history, etc. Oh, and Nature.)

Mad Mike’s previous experience

~ vid ~

Sure, we could discuss the need for a constraint to avoid having a bunch’a debris hit one’s parachute at high speed,
buuut I expect that needing a walker for a few weeks has taught ‘im that lesson already.

Nature won’t cut ‘im a break, here; but I wish him luck.

I can’t look.


  1. dick, not quite dead white guy
    Posted November 26, 2017 at 1:12 pm |

    Debris? naah. He just planned some open panels so he could steer into that tree on landing.
    Death wish comes to mind.

  2. sortah
    Posted November 26, 2017 at 1:18 pm |

    Years ago, my Granny always said to never buy parachutes at Target. I hope he kept the receipt.

  3. Blake
    Posted November 26, 2017 at 5:54 pm |

    You know, I developed a formulation, years ago, that went something like this;

    When you’re young and don’t know any better, you get away with stupid stuff because you don’t know any better.

    And, conversely, when you’re old enough to know better and do it anyway, well, there will be consequences.

    This time, Mike survived. A little battered, to be sure but, again, alive. Yet, Mike thinks he’s going to survive his next effort.

    He can’t say he hasn’t been warned.

  4. dick, not quite dead white guy
    Posted November 27, 2017 at 8:02 am |

    Just thinking a little here (which Mike isn’t) – he could get a pretty good look from a lot higher than 1,800 feet, a lot cheaper, a lot safer, if he bought a commercial airline ticket.
    I guess he’s afraid he might not get a window seat.

  5. bogsidebunny
    Posted November 27, 2017 at 9:23 am |

    Somewhere “up there” Evel Knievel’s pulling for you, Mad Mike!

  6. dick, not quite dead white guy
    Posted November 27, 2017 at 10:39 am |

    I see some difference between Knieval and Mike – Knieval made no bones about doing stunts for stunt’s sake, but Mike claims he’s doing it in the name of “engineering”, for lack of a better word. There are already hours of video footage from countless space vehicles that show what he claims to want to photograph, To me, that makes him a fraud, since it’s obviously a stunt, and the taxpayer will pick up the bill for cleaning up the remains of his machine and his body.