Daredevil "Mad" Mike Hughes, 64, died Saturday when his steam-powered rocket crashed after a short flight over the Californian desert. Footage of the self-made craft shows its parachute deploying immediately after lift-off and being destroyed by its wake, leaving it with nothing to slow its descent.
A flat-earther, Hughes planned to go high enough to see the curvature of the earth with his own eyes. The launch was being filmed for the so-called "Science Channel", which has come in for heavy criticism for encouraging Hughes' risky stunts.
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With the help of his partner Waldo Stakes, Hughes was trying to reach an altitude of 5,000ft (1,525m) while riding his steam-powered rocket, according to Space.com. In the video of the launch, a parachute can be seen trailing behind the rocket, apparently deployed too early, seconds after take-off. In a tweet, the Science Channel said Hughes had died pursuing his dream.
After much anticipation, we finally get a first look at Strange Angel, the ten episode CBS All Access drama series based on the life of rocket scientist, JPL co-founder, and occultist, Jack Parsons. The series is loosely based on the book, Strange Angel, by Boing Boing pal, George Pendle. It remains to be seen how loose. And how far from reality they take the occult and sex magic aspects of Jack's life. Parsons was a member of British occultist Aleister Crowley's O.T.O., and for a time, ran the group's Agape Lodge, a hotbed of sex, drugs, and edgy classical, in Pasadena, CA. The series premiers on June 14th.
If you are unfamiliar with Parsons, here is an article I wrote for Make: magazine years ago, focusing on Jack's amateur rocketry roots. Read the rest
RC Lover San built this killer model rocket that uses a standard engine to launch before firing up its nose cone quadcopter to stick a vertical landing.
"Landing a Rocket Vertically, Without Being a Billionaire Aka Rocket Drone" (Instructables via MAKE)
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Warped Perception ignited an Estes D12-5 model rocket engine in a glass tank of water. Read the rest
Five years ago, Derek Deville launched an amateur rocket into the stratosphere in less than a minute. It still stands as a remarkable achievement, and the onboard camera gives a dizzying sense of the speed and height. Read the rest
The Slow Mo Guys did a King of Random crossover episode, launching Grant's matchstick rockets recorded on their Phantom. Read the rest
Participants in a rocket competition cheer after their rocket was successfully launched during the rocket festival known as "Bun Bangfai" in Yasothon, northeast of Bangkok, May 13, 2012. The festival marks the start of the rainy season when farmers are about to plant rice.
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