THE RISE AND FALL OF MAD MIKE HUGHES
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UPDATE: Not having the required federal permits plus mechanical problems with his "motor-home/rocket launcher" forced self-taught rocket scientist "Mad" Mike Hughes to put his experiment on hold. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) "told me they would not allow me to do the event ... at least not at that location," Hughes said in a YouTube announcement, amid international attention over his plans to launch into the 'atmosflat.' "It's been very disappointing," he said. Hughes is a 61-year-old limo driver who has spent the last few years building a steam-powered rocket out of salvage parts in his garage. His project has cost him $20,000, which includes Rust-Oleum paint to fancy it up and a motor home he bought on Craigslist that he converted into a ramp.
Hughes was set to launch his rocket between 2 and 3 p.m.on Saturday. Plans had been in the works for more than a year and Hughes said he was initially told by BLM "that it was up to the (Federal Aviation Administration)" to approve the launch. The FAA, Hughes said, told him "We can't honestly approve it, we just know that you are going to do it there."