Michael Hughes, 64, died in California on Saturday when his steam powered rocket crashed into the ground.
The US daredevil was launching his homemade rocket into the sky to try and prove that earth is flat.
A video went viral on social media, showing Hughes' rocket tumbling towards the ground.
Known as 'Mad' Mike Hughes, he was taking part in a TV series called Homemade Astronauts for the Science Channel, when the failed experiment brought about an end to his life.
The TV channel tweeted, "Michael 'Mad Mike' Hughes tragically passed away today during an attempt to launch his homemade rocket. Our thoughts & prayers go out to his family & friends during this difficult time."
Michael 'Mad Mike' Hughes tragically passed away today during an attempt to launch his homemade rocket. Our thoughts & prayers go out to his family & friends during this difficult time. It was always his dream to do this launch & Science Channel was there to chronicle his journey pic.twitter.com/GxwjpVf2md
— Science Channel (@ScienceChannel) February 23, 2020
The San Bernadino County Sheriff's Department was called to the rocket launch at around 2pm local time. Hughes was pronounced dead at the scene.
What was the experiment?
Hughes wanted to launch 5,000 feet into the sky so he could personally observe that the planet had no curve. As a staunch believer that the planet is flat, Hughes made international news in 2018 when he was able to blast up to an altitude of 1,870 feet before deploying a parachute.
Hughes said shortly after, "Am I glad I did it? Yeah, I guess. I'll feel it in the morning. I won't be able to get out of bed. At least I can go home and have dinner and see my cats tonight."
Speaking to The Guardian, Justin Chapman, a freelance journalist who witnessed the crash said, "The rocket appeared to rub against the launch apparatus, which might have torn the parachutes attached to it".
In 2018 Hughes said, “My story really is incredible, it’s got a bunch of storylines – the garage-built thing. I’m an older guy. It’s out in the middle of nowhere, plus the flat earth. The problem is it brings out all the nuts also, people questioning everything. It’s the downside of all this.”