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"Mad" Mike Hughes' rocket takes off with what appears to be a parachute tearing off during its launch near Barstow, Calif. Hughes was killed when the rocket crashed Saturday. Mercedes Blackehart/AP hide caption

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Mercedes Blackehart/AP

"Mad" Mike Hughes' homemade rocket takes to the skies above Amboy, Calif., on Saturday. The self-taught rocket scientist who believes the Earth is flat propelled himself about 1,875 feet into the air before a hard landing in the Mojave Desert left him injured. Matt Hartman via AP hide caption

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Matt Hartman via AP

The blue sky over the Mojave Desert, untouched by the path of Mike Hughes' rocket. He had planned to launch himself in his own rocket Saturday in Amboy, Calif., but the Bureau of Land Management put up a significant hurdle to that effort. Susanna James/Flickr hide caption

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Susanna James/Flickr

In this photograph taken Nov. 15, Mike Hughes stands beside his steam-powered rocket, which he built from salvaged parts. Waldo Stakes/HO courtesy of Mad Mike Hughes via AP hide caption

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Waldo Stakes/HO courtesy of Mad Mike Hughes via AP