A limousine driver turned self-taught scientist has announced plans to launch himself over a California ghost town in a home-made rocket.
Mike Hughes, who calls himself Mad Mike Hughes and says he doesn’t believe in science, has spent years building his own steam-powered rocket in his garage.
The 61-year-old saved money from his $15-an-hour driving job and has spent $20,000 (£15,000) on the project, including the purchase of a $1,500 motorhome bought on Craigslist which he will attach the launch pad to.
Mr Hughes says he is the only man in history to design, build, and launch himself in a rocket, which he has made using mainly scrap parts.
With his flight scheduled for Saturday, he says he will travel at a speed of roughly 500mph for about a mile over the ghost town of Amboy, which has a population of four.
“It’s scary as hell, but none of us are getting out of this world alive,” Mr Hughes said.
“I like to do extraordinary things that no one else can do, and no one in the history of mankind has designed, built and launched himself in his own rocket.
“I’m a walking reality show.”
Mr Hughes also believes the Earth is flat, and his main sponsor for the rocket project is Research Flat Earth.
“I don’t believe in science,” he said.
“I know about aerodynamics and fluid dynamics and how things move through the area, 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.”
Mr Hughes says he hopes to one day build a rocket that takes him into space so he can see Earth with his own eyes.
For his launch at the weekend, which people will be able to see on internet pay-per-view, he plans to reach an altitude of about 1,800ft before pulling two parachutes.
He says he has put out enough food for his four cats in case anything goes wrong.
Following his jump, Mr Hughes says he’s going to announce his plans to run for California governor.