Photo by: CHRIS FRAWLEY

CHRIS FRAWLEY

Discover How a Homemade Astronaut Takes Flight with Mad Mike

By: Discovery

DIY Rocketeer Mike Hughes seeks to launch himself 5,000 feet in the air on a homemade rocket for the new Science Channel series, Homemade Astronauts.

In a cosmic quest to explore the final frontier on a shoe-string budget, Mike Hughes and Waldo Stakes have built a steam powered rocket that will launch “Mad Mike” 5,000 feet into the air. As ground-breaking and awe-inspiring as this event will be, it is only the first step towards an even more ambitious goal in space exploration.

The imaginative duo are aspiring to launch Mike 62 miles into the air, clearing the Karman Line — the border between Earth’s atmosphere and outer space. This subsequent phase will incorporate a “Rock-oon” (part rocket, part balloon) that is still being developed. But, before this ambitious event can transpire, they are seeking to raise awareness through this initial launch.

This launch is one of three to be featured in “Homemade Astronauts,” a new series for Science Channel. The series follows three self-financed teams with sky-high dreams, in their cosmic quest to explore the final frontier on limited budgets.

Mike is scheduled for lift-off on Saturday, February 22, 2020 at 3p ET. Ahead of his launch, he reflected on the journey that got him to this moment in the video above. As updates become available, this article will be updated on the progress of this historic launch and what happened after.

UPDATE [2/22/20 9:20 ET]:


Michael “Mad Mike” Hughes tragically passed away today during an attempt to launch his homemade rocket. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends during this difficult time. It was always his dream to do this launch, and Science Channel was there to chronicle his journey.

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