Northampton

Action Man missing-in-space footage emerges

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Media captionWatch the Action Man in space before it went missing somewhere over Northamptonshire

Footage has emerged of an Action Man astronaut doll missing after it was launched into near space.

"Major Tom" disappeared after taking flight on 26 June, to toast 50 years of the doll, close to where it was made.

It travelled 19 miles (30km) before descending. A tracker device was found in a Northamptonshire field but the doll and capsule were missing.

The onboard camera has now been found and shows the "capsule" falling apart, ejecting the doll, which remains lost.

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The doll, owned by Rob Wisdom, of Essex, was launched from a field next to the old Palitoy Factory in Coalville, Leicestershire - where Action Man toys were made under licence from Hasbro.

Image copyright Wisdom Design
Image caption The doll was thrown from the capsule and has still not been found
Image copyright Wisdom Design
Image caption "Major Tom" was initially thought to have landed in a field before being stolen
Image copyright Wisdom Design
Image caption It was launched into near space using a helium balloon

The space flight - which used a modified original space capsule for the doll and a parachute to help it back to earth - was the brainchild of Chris Hillcox, from Sutton Coldfield, in the West Midlands.

However, although the doll made it to near space, its return did not go as planned.

'Such an adventure'

The tracker appeared to be the only thing that made it back, landing in a field in Creaton. It was assumed the doll and capsule had been stolen.

Image copyright Wisdom Design
Image caption The project team hopes its social media campaign will continue to raise awareness of "Major Tom's" space flight plight

A #Findmajortom campaign was launched on social media and a week later the onboard camera and fragments of the capsule were found by a farmer about a mile away.

The footage, collected by the team on Monday, seems to show the plastic capsule breaking apart in the atmosphere, ejecting Major Tom into space.

Mr Wisdom still hopes the doll will be found.

"I like to think if the camera made it back, Major Tom is still out there.

"He's been on such an adventure," he said.

"He's probably sitting with his feet up in a ditch somewhere, patiently waiting to be found."

Image copyright Wisdom Design
Image caption The original Action Man space capsule was modified for the flight

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