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Video, photos: Jumping out of a space capsule at 21,800 metres

The Red Bull Stratos project aims to break the freefall record later this year with a jump from over 36,500 metres.

Image: Felix Baumgartner prepares to jump from the capsule.

RED BULL HAS carried out a successful space capsule jump test run as part of its Stratos project.

The project aims to lead to an attempt by Felix Baumgartner, 42, to carry out a record-breaking freefall from over 36,500 metres in the coming months to become the first man to go supersonic without a vehicle.

In the latest test, Baumgartner jumped from a space capsule attached to a helium balloon at around 21,800 metres yesterday before deploying his parachute and landing safely in the New Mexico desert.

From take-off to landing, the test lasted just 1 hour and 40 minutes. The capsule was itself dislodged from the balloon and descended safely to Earth by parachute.

Video, photos: Jumping out of a space capsule at 21,800 metres
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Baumgartner said the hardest part of his 600km/hr return to earth was the extreme cold, and that more work would be needed on adjusting to the dimensions of the extremely high altitudes. “I wanted to open the parachute after descending for a while but I noticed that I was still at an altitude of 50,000 feet [15,400 metres],” he said.

He is the third person to jump from such an altitude and survive. One of the two to make the record before him is Joseph Kittinger, now 83, who is working as a mentor on the Stratos project and who was on the mission control team for this test run.

The Red Bull team plans to carry out another test run before attempting to break the freefall record later in the year.

Watch the test flight in action:

(Video via redbull)

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