Self-taught rocket scientist plans to launch over San Bernardino County ghost town – Orange County Register
By PAT GRAHAM, AP Sports Writer
The countdown to launch creeps closer and there’s still plenty for self-taught rocket scientist “Mad” Mike Hughes to do: Last-second modifications to his vessel. Pick up his flight suit. Leave enough food for his four cats — just in case anything happens.
Hughes is a 61-year-old limo driver who’s 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.
His first test of the rocket will also be the launch date — Saturday, when he straps into his homemade contraption and attempts to hurtle over the ghost town of Amboy. He will travel about a mile at a speed of roughly 500 mph.
In this Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017 photograph, the homemade, steam-powered rocket built by daredevil/limosuine drive Mad Mike Hughes is shown on the property the man leases in Apple Valley, Cal. Hughes plans to launch the rocket Saturday over the ghost town of Amboy, Ca., at a speed of roughly 500 miles-per-hour. (Mad Mike Hughes via AP)
In this Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017, photograph, daredevil/limousine driver Mad Mike Hughes is shown with with his steam=powered rocket constructed out of salvage parts on a five-acre property that he leases in Apple Valley, Cal. Hughes plans to launch his homemade contraption on Saturday near the ghost town of Amboy, Cal., at a speed of roughly 500 miles-per-hour. (Waldo Stakes/HO courtesy of Mad Mike Hughes via AP)
In this Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017, photograph, the flight suit of self-taught rocket scientist and limousine driver Mad Mike Hughes is shown at the rental property on which the man has constructed a steam-powered rocket in Apple Valley, Cal. Hughes plans to launch the rocket Saturday as a test of the conraption over the ghost town of Amboy, Cal. (Mad Mike Hughes via AP)