Rocket misfire puts record pursuit on hold

Posted: Updated:
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

WINKLEMAN, Ariz. (AP) -- A California man is going back to the drawing board after his steam-powered rocket misfired in the Arizona desert during his latest effort to set a record.

Mike Hughes was scheduled to blast off Saturday from a remote area near Winkleman. But he says the X-2 SkyLimo Rocket launched prematurely when some seals gave way.

Without Hughes in the cockpit, the parachutes failed to deploy. The rocket ended up in a crumpled mess about a half-mile away.

Hughes says he's devastated but promised to rebuild the rocket for another launch in British Columbia in late August.

He had hoped to travel some 1,700 feet Saturday. He made a similar flight in January that he says went 1,374 feet.

Hughes holds the Guinness Book of World Records mark for the longest limo jump at 103 feet, set Sept. 28, 2002.

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