Now, as somebody that hates to admit they’re wrong, I can totally relate to ‘Mad’ Mike Hughes, the self-taught scientist who this weekend tried to launch himself into space in an attempt to prove his theory that the Earth is flat.

Hughes, who engineered the steam-powered rocket himself, had big hopes that his mission would be a success. However, that dream ended rather sharply when his homemade rocket plunged back to Earth, landing hard in the Mojave Desert – approximately 1,500 feet from the launch site in Amboy, California.

The launch, which was initially scheduled for last November, finally had takeoff after being delayed by mechanical concerns. Having selected a patch of barren land near Amboy as his launchpad, ‘Mad’ Mike braced himself for the moment he’d long been waiting for.

Watch the moment he achieved lift off…

Since declaring that he’d fly to space in a homemade rocket, ‘Mad’ Mike has been met with a great deal of criticism from those who have deemed him a “crackpot” fool. Yet despite the cruel comments, the 61-year-old limo driver has captivated a great deal of attention.

Even former NASA astronaut Jerry Linenger, who spent 143 days in space in 1997, was enthralled by Mike’s mad mission. “I hope he doesn’t blow anything up,” he said skeptically before going on to add: “Rocketry, as our private space companies found out, isn’t as easy as it looks.”