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Earth Space Idle

Flat Earther Now Wants To Launch His Homemade Rocket From a Balloon (themaineedge.com) 314

A Maine alternative newsweekly just interviewed self-taught rocket scientist "Mad" Mike Hughes, who still believes that the earth is a flat, Frisbee-shaped disc. ("Think about this. Australia -- which is supposedly on the other side of the planet -- is upside down yet they're holding the waters in the ocean. Now how is that happening?") And Mike's got a new way to prove it after his aborted launch attempt in November. An anonymous reader writes: "One thing I want to clarify is that this rocket was never supposed to prove that the Earth is flat," Hughes tells an interviewer. "I was never going to go high enough to do that." But he will prove it's flat -- with an even riskier stunt. "I have a plan to go 62 miles up to the edge of space. It's going to cost $1.8 million and that could happen within 10 months."

"I'm going to have a balloon built at about $250,000 with $100,000 worth of hydrogen in it. It will lift me up about 20 miles... If I'm unconscious, they can use the controls to bring the balloon back." But if he's still conscious? "Then I'll fire a rocket through the balloon that will pull me up by my shoulders through a truss for 42 miles at 1.5 g's."

It's an awesome plan "if I don't burn up coming back through the atmosphere."

The interviewer asks Hughes a reasonable question. "Wouldn't it be cheaper and less deadly to just try to drill through the Earth to the other side to prove your point?"

"You can't," Hughes answers. "That's another fallacy. The deepest hole ever drilled is seven-and-a-half miles and it was done in Russia. It took 12 years. You cannot drill through this planet. It dulls every drill bit. All the stuff that you learned in school -- that the core is molten nickel -- it's all lies. No one knows what's in the center of the Earth or how deep it is. I'm no expert at anything, but I know that's a fact."
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Flat Earther Now Wants To Launch His Homemade Rocket From a Balloon

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  • by Type44Q ( 1233630 ) on Sunday December 17, 2017 @01:42PM (#55756375)
    It might be even cooler... to launch a balloon from a rocket. You know, if you're a flat-earther.
  • Wait, what? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Hentes ( 2461350 ) on Sunday December 17, 2017 @01:42PM (#55756381)

    if I don't burn up coming back through the atmosphere.

    Something tells me this guy may not be true believer.

    • If he had said atmofrustum would anyone have understood what he meant?

      • Re:Wait, what? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by GameboyRMH ( 1153867 ) <gameboyrmh@gCHEETAHmail.com minus cat> on Sunday December 17, 2017 @04:06PM (#55757203) Journal

        I've noticed that the flat earthers have no explanation for what keeps the atmofrustrum from falling off the sides of the disc. The ice wall that keeps the oceans from falling off is supposedly only around 150ft ASL, which is nothing in terms of keeping air in.

        Maybe there's another wall beyond the ice wall, hundreds of thousands of feet tall, made of the same indestructible stuff that makes it impossible to drill through the earth...but then they'd have to explain why this wall doesn't block any view of the stars near the horizon.

        • by jon3k ( 691256 )

          Maybe there's another wall beyond the ice wall

          Believe it or not, that is one very prevalent theory among flat earthers. They think the first ice wall is to prevent us from seeing the world on the other side of the wall that they're secretly trying to keep us from getting to. I'm not sure who "they" are, of course.

        • " the same indestructible stuff that makes it impossible to drill through the earth."

          It's just elephants and a turtle down there anyway.

        • Re:Wait, what? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Dutch Gun ( 899105 ) on Sunday December 17, 2017 @07:11PM (#55758061)

          I'm convinced that 90% of flat earthers are just trolls who don't actually believe what they say, but love seeing the consternation of people trying to convince them they're wrong. Or maybe some of them just enjoy the intellectual challenge of trying to invent counter-arguments to scientific reality. The other 10% are just gullible saps who have been taken in by the former group.

          There are many thousands of logical fallacies to the flat earth theory. You'll go crazy if you try to argue logically with these people. You can't argue with trolls or stupid.

  • This guy.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rick Zeman ( 15628 ) on Sunday December 17, 2017 @01:47PM (#55756411)

    ...is just a world-class troll. Nothing more.

  • by galvanash ( 631838 ) on Sunday December 17, 2017 @01:52PM (#55756441)

    He does not believe the earth is flat. What he believes is that a bunch of stupid people either DO think the earth is flat, or would just be willing to pay to see him die. He is just trying to swindle some cash.

    Stop feeding the troll people...

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      He does not believe the earth is flat. What he believes is that a bunch of stupid people either DO think the earth is flat, or would just be willing to pay to see him die. He is just trying to swindle some cash.

      Stop feeding the troll people...

      That makes sense. Maybe he saw the election and went, "Hey, if people are that stupid, there must be a market here."

    • ...I say performance artists. There's no way the majority of money he is getting come from people who really think the earth is flat; instead they come from people who REALLY want to see a guy fire a rocket with himself strapped in via shoulder harness...

      My only real concern with his plan is that he's made sure his beneficiaries get a great percentage of the video rights.

    • He is just trying to swindle some cash.

      I guess he at least understands the economic component [thomaslfriedman.com] of his argument.

  • by Fly Swatter ( 30498 ) on Sunday December 17, 2017 @02:01PM (#55756519) Homepage
    And bump into the ceiling, space is a lie.
    • The Earth is not flat. This is a lie spread by fools and idiots. If the earth was flat, the water would run off the edge. It is CLEARLY bowl shaped, as this is the only shape that would retain water over time.

      Do not believe this idiot, his ideas will lead you down a path of folly and ruin.
      • The Earth is not flat. This is a lie spread by fools and idiots. If the earth was flat, the water would run off the edge.

        No, more importantly, if the earth was flat the cats of the world would have pushed everything over the edge by now just for shits and grins.

      • It is CLEARLY bowl shaped, as this is the only shape that would retain water over time.

        The Earth is a sphere: but we're actually living on the INSIDE of a sphere.

        Why else do you think storms go the other way round on the other side of the earth? It's becaue they're above us so it only LOOKS the other way round.

        WAKE UP SHEEPLE

      • Bowl shaped? BOWL SHAPED? If it were bowl shaped, the rain would eventually FILL IT UP and we would ALL DROWN!

  • Cheaper alternative. (Score:5, Informative)

    by OpenSourced ( 323149 ) on Sunday December 17, 2017 @02:16PM (#55756577) Journal

    Would be cheaper to call some friend that he had in a different time zone, wait for sunrise and ask if the sun is rising there now. If answer is no, try to explain that with a flat earth.

    • Look, that's completely obvious - reality doesn't happen all at once. That would be overwhelming for the vast majority of people, It has to, you know, flow.

      Otherwise it would be just too overwhelming.

    • He doesn't believe in phone companies either.

      --
      Hey, you're that guy - TV Commercial

    • You got me there ... friends? Time Zone?

    • Would be cheaper to call some friend that he had in a different time zone, wait for sunrise and ask if the sun is rising there now. If answer is no, try to explain that with a flat earth.

      Are you reading my comments? I've been saying this since B.O.B. released his instagram proof aka "Hey look over in the background of this picture.. do you see curvature? *micdrop* What now scientists" i mean how small do these people think the earth is.. they know we're not living on King Kai's planet from Dragon Ball Z right?

      • i mean how small do these people think the earth is.. they know we're not living on King Kai's planet from Dragon Ball Z right?

        (Rolls eyes) Well, obviously. It's an established fact that King Kai's world was blown up by Perfect Cell.

        Anyway, a little consideration for us upside-down Australians who have to hold the ocean up every day!

  • Proving that the ignorance you can find in one person is really unlimited. I fear, though, that he is not that much more ignorant than the average person, just more stubborn.

  • Fame as a moron. Who knew there was a future in that?
  • This idiot craves attention like a 2 year old and the press is more than happy to oblige.
  • No one knows what's in the center of the Earth

    If he doesn't believe the earth is round, why does he believe it has a center?

    Because, on a flat earth the center would be, going by their maps, the north pole. Only a sphere has a 'center' that you theoretically could reach by drilling.

    If this were his own words, then i think this dude knows darn well the earth is round. He's just seeking publicity. And just unmasked himself by this slip of the tongue.

  • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Sunday December 17, 2017 @02:50PM (#55756767) Homepage Journal

    He'd be better off letting the balloon go higher with a lighter payload. A steam rocket with its massive pressure vessel is going to take more off your maximum altitude than it contributes.

    The first humans to see the curvature of the Earth were US Army captains Albert Stevens and Orvil Anderson, who achieved an altitude of 22km in the Helium-filled Explorer II balloon on November 11, 1935. This would be the way to go. The record for a hot-air balloon ascent is 21 km, which would be sufficient to detect the curvature of the Earth if your gondola sported a porthole with a sufficiently wide field of view.

    But the easiest and cheapest sensory evidence you can get is from a camera lofted into the stratosphere by a weather balloon. For under $150 you can buy a ballon with a burst height of over 35 km. You could probably rig the entire mission for under $1000.

    • My highest flight altitude was 13km, and you can clearly see from there that the earth is a sphere.

    • Or even getting a rocket. That man if not mentally ill, is simply trying to fleece other people out of $1.8 million. And that's the extent of the story.
  • by Dan East ( 318230 ) on Sunday December 17, 2017 @02:53PM (#55756779) Journal

    It's an awesome plan "if I don't burn up coming back through the atmosphere."

    Altitude has nothing to do with burning up in the atmosphere. He will merely reach terminal velocity speeds (which will vary with the density of the atmosphere) but there is no risk of burning up. Objects that are in orbit burn up because they are at orbital velocity, not because of their altitude.

  • Is he proposing a cubic planet ?

    Either way, being able to reach east west destinations via polar paths should be all the proof anyone needs.

  • Fly over the wall and prove the Earth is flat!
  • A Maine alternative newsweekly just interviewed self-taught rocket scientist "Mad" Mike Hughes...

    Why is anyone giving this lunatic the time of day? More specific to here, how exactly is this news for nerds or stuff that matters? If this lunatic wants to become a Darwin Award recipient, let him and spare us the details. All the media are doing is giving a lunatic a bullhorn to infect other idiots with his stupidity. He's not even an entertaining species of lunatic.

    • by skam240 ( 789197 )

      Plenty of news sites/publications have an "on the lighter side" section. These are stories that are generally of little importance but people often find them amusing. In this case, many find it amusing to see the lengths a flat earther will take their beliefs and for those of us with any science education it's seeing the 101 glaring problems with his plan. It's an amusing distraction.

      As an example: http://www.bbc.com/news/also_i... [bbc.com]

      If you don't get it that's fine, feel free to be outraged. That's what it's d

      • Plenty of news sites/publications have an "on the lighter side" section.

        So what? This still isn't news even of the lighter variety. This is either an idiot or a troll. Either way he should be ignored.

        In this case, many find it amusing to see the lengths a flat earther will take their beliefs and for those of us with any science education it's seeing the 101 glaring problems with his plan. It's an amusing distraction.

        Maybe if you have a truly perverse sense of humor. I don't see anything funny about this. We're already dealing with a presidency that is more anti-science than any in my lifetime. We don't need to be giving the lunatics the microphone. I'm not outraged but his 15 minutes of fame should be in the rear view mirror except jackasses keep giving him the attention he desires.

        If you don't get it that's fine, feel free to be outraged.

        Ther

    • by jwhyche ( 6192 )

      He isn't. Can we can the Pseudoscience bullshit please? Just for a week are so.

  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Sunday December 17, 2017 @02:59PM (#55756823) Journal

    "I'm no expert at anything, but I know that's a fact."

    This is the quote of 2017.

    And all of you haters and losers making fun of this guy, why do you hate diverse viewpoints in science? It's about time we had more Trump-supporting scientists.

    • The laws of physics aren't for or against anyone. They just exist. It's our job to figure out how they work, and then how they can be used to help the world.

      Ignoring mountains of existing, thoroughly peer-reviewed evidence would be like saying the $1,000 on your bank statement actually means $100 million, then going to the bank to ask for a full withdrawl. The world doesn't work like that.

  • Okay. Some how or another, this guy is going to be attached to a truss that will trail behind a rocket.

    "Then I’ll fire a rocket through the balloon that will pull me up by my shoulders through a truss for 42 miles at 1.5 g’s

    Better have a hella long line between him and the rocket exhaust.

    "Everything will be controlled remotely. Even if I’m unconscious, they can use the controls to bring the balloon back. That is the plan. That is if I don’t burn up coming back through the

  • Either this guy is the epitome of stupidity and obduracy, or else he's a ruthless scammer attempting to capitalize on a common fad. We'll probably find out soon.
  • Frisbee-shaped disc

    As opposed to... what? A non-Frisbee-shaped disc?

  • I think I love this guy ... awesome wackiness! Troll or not, he's highly entertaining :)
  • by pipingguy ( 566974 ) on Sunday December 17, 2017 @03:23PM (#55756961)
    "Wouldn't it be cheaper and less deadly to just try to drill through the Earth to the other side to prove your point?"

    That's a reasonable question?
  • Flat earthers all killing themselves to prove that the world is flat? I'm all for it!
  • 5 minutes of publicity why?

    • He had the brilliant idea of mixing con artist with magic trick:

      1. Tell the world you're going to build a contraption and do a stunt, get five minutes of fame.

      2. Declare you can't launch said first contraption because reason X, get another five minutes of fame.

      3. Then tell the world you're going to build a much bigger contraption and do a much more dangerous stunt, get another five minutes of fame.

      4. A bit later, announce that you can't afford to build the much bigger contraption on your own and you need pe

  • by Subm ( 79417 ) on Sunday December 17, 2017 @03:59PM (#55757149)

    Do we know who he voted for?

    Any guesses?

  • This guy is the same as the anti-vaxers, the moon-landing-hoaxers, the homeopathic medicine users, the phones-cause-cancer believers, and the “911 was an inside job” crew. All the same.

    No matter what you believe today, you’ll find a healthy group of people on the internet with the same beliefs, and lots of data to back them up.

    And they vote.
  • Not literally at home, you'll have to go outside, but with very basic tools.

    What you need:

    1. A place with a very long expanse of "flat" (spoilers: follows the curvature of the earth) ground and a tall structure (a runway with control tower or flat expanse of desert with a nearby tall cliff or plateau could work)
    2. A large equilateral triangle frame with a plumb weight hanging from one corner. This is your highly sensitive angle measuring tool. Mark the level position on the face opposite from where the weig

  • I can't believe morons like this are still around. It's been proven a very long time ago that the Earth is NOT flat. Also there is no sea monster out to swallow ships whole.
  • It would be cheaper to just launch a GoPro to that same altitude, and then release it with a small parachute. But the guy seems to have a death wish.
  • "I'm no expert at anything, but I know that's a fact."

    Doesn't that just sum up the world in general?

  • but he's 100% positive the Earth is flat. /boggle

  • Let's help the guy out.

  • by WalrusSlayer ( 883300 ) on Sunday December 17, 2017 @08:31PM (#55758363)

    ..."that's easy! Show me where the edge of the Earth is! That'd be the coolest place ever! Heck, I'll build a house right at the edge of the world!"

    Personally, my favorite corollary is that the presence of cats is disproof of a flat Earth. If the Earth were flat, there would be an edge somewhere. Which is where all the cats would be, knocking things off the edge, rather than piddling around with us mere humans.

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