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Daredevil ‘Mad Mike’ Hughes dies while attempting to launch a homemade rocket

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Daredevil “Mad Mike” Hughes died during an attempt to launch his homemade rocket Saturday.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mike Hughes’ 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,” the Science Channel said in a statement.

Hughes was scheduled to launch his homemade rocket for a new Science Channel series called “Homemade Astronauts,” according to the Discovery Channel website.

Hughes and Waldo Stakes built a steam-powered rocket with the intent of launching Hughes 5,000 feet into the air, the website said.

He eventually hoped to develop a rocket that would launch him 62 miles in the air to where the Earth’s atmosphere meets outer space, according to the Discovery Channel.

Deputies responded to the fatal rocket crash off highway 247 in Barstow, California, on Saturday afternoon, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. While authorities did not formally identify Hughes, they said a man was pronounced dead after a rocket crashed in the open desert during a launch event. A sheriff’s aviation unit is investigating.

No other injuries were reported.

CORRECTION: The story has been updated to clarify that the Science Channel was documenting the launch as part of a future series.

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