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Phil1111

"Mad Mike" Killed Attempting to Prove Earth Flat

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His legacy is that he made the Earth just a tiny bit flatter in one spot?

Seriously though, this guy was pretty nuts, having been injured during his last attempt , his only takeaway from that was "we need a bigger rocket" ?

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It looked in one photo I've seen, like he had two rocket deployed parachutes on his rocket vehicle (as for recovery of ultralight or other very light aircraft) and one deployed on takeoff. Some quote in the news  mentioned the rocket rubbing somehow on the launch ramp. While some interference is possible, I'm wondering if it was just poorly designed in some way, that the G forces on launch caused the deployment rocket to be initiated. 

The steam rocket he used only produces thrust for a few seconds.  A big bottle of superheated water plus a nozzle basically.  Which means high G's right at takeoff, rapidly lowering thrust (although somewhat compensated by the mass of the vehicle going down), and then just coasting up to one or two thousand feet.    Seems a bit of a sketchy system to get decent altitude -- although if applied correctly it can work for smaller flights. (E.g.  Evel Knievel Snake River jump - also with parachute issues -- or the more successful later re-creation by Eddie Braun.) 

If Mike did have two chutes, why was the second not deployed? Who knows what condition he was in after the high G takeoff (with a jolt when the canopy started to inflate then ripped off), or whether all parts of the second recovery system were still intact.

His 2014 flight vehicle did fly although some say he wasn't actually in it. That vehicle deployed the recovery parachute at high speed and shredded a lot of panels, being held together only by an intact lower lateral band. But the video I saw showed no landing and if he wasn't in it in the first place, not a problem. 

His 2018 flight had 2 parachutes, the first being activated a few seconds after apparent finish of thrusting but still during what seemed pretty high speed upwards flight. That seemed to be a very poor choice of timing. Still, the canopy survived. Later when low on the descent he seemed to realize the descent rate of the whole vehicle under canopy was pretty high so he fired off the 2nd parachute. The 2 canopies pulled apart into quite a Y-configuration but slowed him down a bunch in just the last couple hundred feet of descent. He got through the landing with some back injuries but how serious they were is a bit unclear.

I only know any of this from watching a few videos and reading a bit online. Hard to find much technical info on his vehicle & flights.

 

 

 

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19 hours ago, billvon said:

Well, that was inevitable.  Still sad.

Pretty much. Little or no unmanned testing. Just build it, get in and go. What could possibly go wrong?

The comments on the YouTube video are pretty harsh. But he earned it.

One is about the genius of building a 'self burying coffin'. 
Another mentions Wile E Coyote. And Acme. 

One of the articles (I've read several, not sure if its in the linked one) said he planned to go to 5000' and take pictures. 
That's utterly hilarious. Why did he need to do something stupid like a homemade rocket when an airplane could have been rented for a sight-seeing flight for a tiny fraction of what he spent on that rocket. With a much better chance of surviving the flight. 
I would also think that a distance from the surface of 1/8000th the diameter of the earth would give very little perspective on the curvature. 
I think you need to get up to 50k or so to see it for itself.
However, the idea that you can see much further from higher up give support to the 'round' earth. One just has to be smart enough to understand geometry to realize it. 

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1 hour ago, wolfriverjoe said:

Pretty much. Little or no unmanned testing. Just build it, get in and go. What could possibly go wrong?

The comments on the YouTube video are pretty harsh. But he earned it.

One is about the genius of building a 'self burying coffin'. 
Another mentions Wile E Coyote. And Acme. 

One of the articles (I've read several, not sure if its in the linked one) said he planned to go to 5000' and take pictures. 
That's utterly hilarious. Why did he need to do something stupid like a homemade rocket when an airplane could have been rented for a sight-seeing flight for a tiny fraction of what he spent on that rocket. With a much better chance of surviving the flight. 
I would also think that a distance from the surface of 1/8000th the diameter of the earth would give very little perspective on the curvature. 
I think you need to get up to 50k or so to see it for itself.
However, the idea that you can see much further from higher up give support to the 'round' earth. One just has to be smart enough to understand geometry to realize it. 

The curvature is readily evident from the top of Pikes Peak. 14K...   Anyone can drive it, take the long walk. ;) 

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I read in an article that in interviews he openly admitted that the rockets were totally unnecessary and were only meant for publicity purposes with the hopes of getting future funding for another crack pot idea called the ralloon, part rocket part balloon, that he intended to take up to the edge of space.

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On 2/26/2020 at 8:49 AM, DougH said:

I read in an article that in interviews he openly admitted that the rockets were totally unnecessary and were only meant for publicity purposes with the hopes of getting future funding for another crack pot idea called the ralloon, part rocket part balloon, that he intended to take up to the edge of space.

I'm gonna say the "Flat Earth" thing is another effort to drum up coverage.

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