Mike Hughes, a 61-year-old limo driver, has done more than just dream. He's spent the last few years building a steam-powered rocket out of salvage parts in his garage.
(Mike Hughes flat earth rocket)
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.
“I don’t believe in science,” said Hughes, whose main sponsor for the rocket is Research Flat Earth. “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.”
This will actually be the second time he’s constructed and launched a rocket. He jumped on a private property in Winkelman, Arizona, on Jan. 30, 2014 , and traveled 1,374 feet. He collapsed after that landing — the G-forces taking a toll — and needed three days to recover.
Fiorello Bodoni, in Ray Bradbury's classic tale The Rocket was in some ways similar:
I prefer the rockets myself," said old Bramante. "I was a boy when they started. Eighty years ago, and I've never been on one yet."
"I will ride up in one someday," said Bodoni.
"Fool!" cried Bramante. "You'll never go. This is a rich man's world." He shook his gray head, remembering. "When I was young they wrote it in fiery letters: THE WORLD OF THE FUTURE! Science, Comfort, and New Things for All! Ha! Eighty years. The Future becomes Now! Do we fly rockets'? No! We live in shacks like our ancestors before us."
"Perhaps my sons -" said Bodoni.
"No, nor their sons!" the old man shouted. "It's the rich who have dreams and rockets!"
Bodoni gave his children their dreams; the rest of this beautiful short story is online here.
Orion's 'Skip-to-M'Lou' Entry
'A lightning pilot possibly could land that tin toy without power and still walk away from it provided he had the skill to play Skip-to-M’Lou in and out of the atmosphere...'