A US daredevil pilot has died after his self-made rocket crashed into the ground.

‘Mad’ Mike Hughes, 64, hoped to blast himself into outer space to check for himself whether the Earth is flat or a globe.

Shocking footage shows his steam-powered rocket being fired into the sky near Barstow, California, before plummeting to the ground shortly after take-off.

Mike’s parachute was seen dropping to the ground, without his body attached.

According to Space.com, the launch was going to feature in a new TV series about amateur rocket makers for the US Science Channel.

The Science Channel confirmed the tragic news, tweeting: ‘Michael ‘Mad Mike’ Hughes tragically passed away today during an attempt to launch his homemade rocket.

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‘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.’

Hughes was trying to reach an altitude of 5,000ft (1,525m), with the help of his partner Waldo Stakes.

His team spent around $18,000 (£14,000) building the homemade rocket, which used steam ejected through a nozzle for propulsion.

Hughes became internationally famous when he announced his intention to prove his ‘flat earth’ theory.

His first successful rocket launch on March 24, 2018, reached a height of 1,875 feet (572 m) before landing hard in the Mojave Desert.

Last year, another attempted rocket launch was grounded after Hughes reportedly used a defective water heater bought from craigslist.

The daredevil had a history of attempting breathtaking stunts.

He set a Guinness world record in 2002 when he jumped 103 feet (31 m) jump in a stretch limo.