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Encyclopedia > Outer space
Layers of Atmosphere - not to scale (NOAA)[1]

Outer space, sometimes simply called space, refers to the relatively empty regions of the universe outside the atmospheres of celestial bodies. Outer space is used to distinguish it from airspace (and terrestrial locations). Contrary to popular understanding, outer space is not completely empty (i.e. a perfect vacuum) but contains a low density of particles, predominantly hydrogen plasma, as well as electromagnetic radiation, dark matter and dark energy. Image File history File links Atmosphere_layers. ... Image File history File links Atmosphere_layers. ... Space has been an interest for philosophers and scientists for much of human history. ... For other uses, see Universe (disambiguation). ... Atmosphere is the general name for a layer of gases that may surround a material body of sufficient mass. ... ... Airspace means the portion of the atmosphere controlled by a particular country on top of its territory and territorial waters or, more generally, any specific three-dimensional portion of the atmosphere. ... Look up Vacuum in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... General Name, Symbol, Number hydrogen, H, 1 Chemical series nonmetals Group, Period, Block 1, 1, s Appearance colorless Atomic mass 1. ... For other uses, see Plasma. ... Electromagnetic waves can be imagined as a self-propagating transverse oscillating wave of electric and magnetic fields. ... In astrophysics and cosmology, dark matter refers to hypothetical matter of unknown composition that does not emit or reflect enough electromagnetic radiation to be observed directly, but whose presence can be inferred from gravitational effects on visible matter. ... In physical cosmology, dark energy is a hypothetical form of energy that permeates all of space and tends to increase the rate of expansion of the universe. ...

Contents

Earth's boundary

There is no clear boundary between Earth's atmosphere and space as the density of the atmosphere gradually decreases as the altitude increases. Nevertheless, the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale has established the Kármán line at an altitude of 100 km (62 miles) as a working definition for the boundary between aeronautics and astronautics. This is used because above an altitude of roughly 100 km, as Theodore von Kármán calculated, a vehicle would have to travel faster than orbital velocity in order to derive sufficient aerodynamic lift from the atmosphere to support itself. The United States designates people who travel above an altitude of 80 km (50 statute miles) as astronauts. During re-entry, roughly 120 km (75 miles) marks the boundary where atmospheric drag becomes noticeable, depending on the ballistic coefficient of the vehicle. “Air” redirects here. ... For other uses, see Density (disambiguation). ... Altitude is the elevation of an object from a known level or datum. ... Fédération Aéronautique Internationale The Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) is a standard setting and record-keeping body for aeronautics and astronautics. ... Layers of Atmosphere - not to scale (NOAA)[1] Atmospheric gases scatter blue wavelengths of visible light more than other wavelengths, giving the Earth’s visible edge a blue halo. ... “km” redirects here. ... “Miles” redirects here. ... Theodore von Kármán (SzÅ‘llÅ‘skislaki Kármán Tódor) (May 11, 1881 – May 6, 1963) was an engineer and physicist who was active primarily in the fields of aeronautics during the seminal era in the 1940s and 1950s. ... The orbital speed of a body, generally a planet, a natural satellite, an artificial satellite, or a multiple star, is the speed at which it orbits around the barycenter of a system, usually around a more massive body. ... The factual accuracy of this article is disputed. ... Astronaut Bruce McCandless II using a manned maneuvering unit outside the U.S. Space Shuttle Challenger in 1984. ... “Reentry” redirects here. ... Atmospheric drag is a form of drag, which is the force that opposes an object moving through a liquid or gas. ... The ballistic coefficient (BC) is the mass of the object divided by the diameter squared that it presents to the airflow divided by a dimensionless constant i that relates to the shape. ...


Solar system

Outer space within the solar system is called interplanetary space, which passes over into interstellar space at the heliopause. The vacuum of outer space is not really empty; it is sparsely filled with several dozen types of organic molecules discovered to date by microwave spectroscopy. According to the Big bang theory, 2.7 K blackbody radiation was left over from the 'big bang' and the origin of the universe, and cosmic rays, which include ionized atomic nuclei and various subatomic particles. There is also gas, plasma and dust, and small meteors and material left over from previous manned and unmanned launches that are a potential hazard to spacecraft. Some of this debris re-enters the atmosphere periodically. This article is about the Solar System. ... Interplanetary space refers to the region of outer space between planets in a solar system. ... The interstellar medium (or ISM) is the name astronomers give to the tenuous gas and dust that pervade interstellar space. ... The heliopause is the boundary between the heliosphere and the interstellar medium outside the solar system. ... Look up Vacuum in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Organic chemistry is a specific discipline within chemistry which involves the scientific study of the structure, properties, composition, reactions, and preparation (by synthesis or by other means) of chemical compounds consisting primarily of carbon and hydrogen, which may contain any number of other elements, including nitrogen, oxygen, halogens as well... 3D (left and center) and 2D (right) representations of the terpenoid molecule atisane. ... Rotational spectroscopy or microwave spectroscopy studies the absorption and emission of electromagnetic radiation (typically in the microwave region of the electromagnetic spectrum) by molecules associated with a corresponding change in the rotational quantum number of the molecule. ... According to the Big Bang theory, the universe originated in an infinitely dense and physically paradoxical singularity. ... For other uses, see Kelvin (disambiguation). ... “CMB” redirects here. ... Cosmic rays can loosely be defined as energetic particles originating outside of the Earth. ... This article is about the electrically charged particle. ... The nucleus of an atom is the very small dense region, of positive charge, in its centre consisting of nucleons (protons and neutrons). ... Helium atom (schematic) Showing two protons (red), two neutrons (green) and two electrons (yellow). ... For other uses, see Plasma. ... Photo of a burst of meteors with extended exposure time A meteor is the visible path of a meteoroid that enters the Earths (or another bodys) atmosphere, commonly called a shooting star or falling star. ... The Space Shuttle Discovery as seen from the International Space Station. ... Space debris or orbital debris, also called space junk and space waste, are the objects in orbit around Earth created by man that no longer serve any useful purpose. ...


The absence of air makes outer space (and the surface of the Moon) ideal locations for astronomy at all wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum, as evidenced by the spectacular pictures sent back by the Hubble Space Telescope, allowing light from about 13.7 billion years ago — almost to the time of the Big Bang — to be observed. Pictures and other data from unmanned space vehicles have provided invaluable information about the planets, asteroids and comets in our solar system. Look up air in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article is about Earths moon. ... For other uses, see Astronomy (disambiguation). ... Legend γ = Gamma rays HX = Hard X-rays SX = Soft X-Rays EUV = Extreme ultraviolet NUV = Near ultraviolet Visible light NIR = Near infrared MIR = Moderate infrared FIR = Far infrared Radio waves EHF = Extremely high frequency (Microwaves) SHF = Super high frequency (Microwaves) UHF = Ultra high frequency VHF = Very high frequency HF = High... The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) is a telescope in orbit around the Earth, named after astronomer Edwin Hubble. ... A planet (from the Greek πλανήτης, planetes or wanderers) is a body of considerable mass that orbits a star and that produces very little or no energy through nuclear fusion. ... 253 Mathilde, a C-type asteroid. ... Comet Hale-Bopp Comet West For other uses, see Comet (disambiguation). ...


The "vacuum of space"

While not being an actual perfect vacuum, outer space contains such sparse matter that it can be effectively thought of as one. The pressure of interstellar space is about 10 pPa (1×10-11 Pa)[citation needed]. For comparison, the pressure at sea level (as defined in the unit of atmospheric pressure) is about 101 kPa (1×105 Pa). The article on the vacuum cleaner is located elsewhere. ... The pascal (symbol: Pa) is the SI derived unit of pressure or stress (also: Youngs modulus and tensile strength). ... Standard atmosphere (symbol: atm) is a unit of pressure. ...


Contrary to popular belief,[1] a person suddenly exposed to the vacuum would not explode, freeze to death (space may be cold, but it's mostly vacuum, a perfect insulator; the main temperature worry for space suits is how to get rid of naturally generated body heat), or die from boiling blood, but would take a short while to die by asphyxiation (suffocation). Air would immediately leave the lungs due to the enormous pressure gradient. Any oxygen dissolved in the blood would empty into the lungs to try to equalize the partial pressure gradient. Once the deoxygenated blood arrived at the brain, death would quickly follow. Water vapor would also rapidly evaporate off from exposed areas such as the lungs, cornea of the eye and mouth, cooling the body. Look up Vacuum in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Hypothermia is a condition in which an organisms temperature drops below that Required fOr normal metabolism and Bodily functionS. In warm-blooded animals, core [[body Temperature]] is maintained nEar a constant leVel through biologic [[homEostasis]]. But wheN the body iS exposed to cold Its internal mechanismS may be unable... Suffocation redirects here, for the band, see Suffocation (band). ... Look up air in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Pressure Gradient is the change in pressure over a distance. ... In a mixture of ideal gases, each gas has a partial pressure which is the pressure which the gas would have if it alone occupied the volume. ... It has been suggested that multiple sections of steam be merged into this article or section. ... Evaporation is the process whereby atoms or molecules in a liquid state (or solid state if the substance sublimes) gain sufficient energy to enter the gaseous state. ... The cornea is the transparent front part of the eye that covers the iris, pupil, and anterior chamber, providing most of an eyes optical power [1]. Together with the lens, the cornea refracts light and, as a result, helps the eye to focus. ... For other uses, see Eye (disambiguation). ...


Satellites

There are many artificial satellites orbiting Earth, including geosynchronous communication satellites 35,786 km (22,241 miles) above mean sea level at the Equator. There is also increasing reliance, for both military and civilian uses, on satellites which enable the Global Positioning System (GPS). A common misconception is that people in orbit are outside Earth's gravity because they are "floating". They are floating because they are in "free fall": the force of gravity is creating an inward centripetal force which is stopping them from flying out into space, balanced by the (reactive) centrifugal force induced by their linear velocity. Earth's gravity reaches out far past the Van Allen belt and keeps the Moon in orbit at an average distance of 384,403 km (238,857 miles). For other uses, please see Satellite (disambiguation) A satellite is an object that orbits another object (known as its primary). ... Two bodies with a slight difference in mass orbiting around a common barycenter. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with geostationary orbit. ... U.S. military MILSTAR communications satellite A communications satellite (sometimes abbreviated to comsat) is an artificial satellite stationed in space for the purposes of telecommunications. ... World map showing the equator in red In tourist areas, the equator is often marked on the sides of roads The equator marked as it crosses Ilhéu das Rolas, in São Tomé and Príncipe. ... In times of armed conflict a civilian is any person who is not a combatant. ... GPS redirects here. ... Gravity is a force of attraction that acts between bodies that have mass. ... For other uses, see Free-fall (disambiguation). ... The centripetal force is the external force required to make a body follow a circular path at constant speed. ... Centrifugal force (from Latin centrum centre and fugere to flee) is a term which may refer to two different forces which are related to rotation. ... Van Allen radiation belts The Van Allen Radiation Belt is a torus of energetic charged particles (plasma) around Earth, held in place by Earths magnetic field. ...


According to the theory of gravity, the gravity of all celestial bodies drops off toward zero with the inverse square of the distance. “Gravity” redirects here. ... Astronomical objects are significant physical entities, associations or structures which current science has confirmed to exist in space. ... This diagram shows how the law works. ...


Milestones on the way to space

  • Sea level - 101.3 kPa (1 atm; 1.013 bar; 29.92 in Hg; 760 mm Hg; 14.5 lbf/in²) of atmospheric pressure
  • 3.0 km (10,000 ft)(1.9 miles) - FAA requires supplemental oxygen for aircraft pilots in unpressurized aircraft.[2]
  • 5.0 km (16,400 ft)(3.1 miles) - 50 kPa of atmospheric pressure
  • 5.3 km (17,400 ft)(3.3 miles) - Half of the Earth's atmosphere is below this altitude.
  • 8.0 km (26,200 ft)(5 miles) - Death zone for human climbers
  • 8.85 km (29,035 ft)(5.5 miles) - Summit of Mount Everest, the highest mountain on Earth (26 kPa)
  • 16 km (52,500 ft)(9.9 miles) - Pressurized cabin or pressure suit required.
  • 18 km (59,100 ft)(11.2 miles) - Boundary between troposphere and stratosphere
  • 20 km (65,600 ft)(12.4 miles) - Water at room temperature boils without a pressurized container. (The popular notion that bodily fluids would start to boil at this point is false because the body generates enough internal pressure to prevent it.)
  • 24 km (78,700 ft)(14.9 miles) - Regular aircraft pressurization systems no longer function.
  • 32 km (105,000 ft)(19.9 miles) - Turbojets no longer function.
  • 34.7 km (113,740 ft)(21.5 miles) - Altitude record for manned balloon flight
  • 45 km (147,600 ft)(28 miles) - Ramjets no longer function.
  • 50 km (164,000 ft)(31 miles) - Boundary between stratosphere and mesosphere
  • 80.5 km (264,000 ft)(50 miles) - Boundary between mesosphere and thermosphere. USA definition of space flight.
  • 100 km (328,100 ft)(62.1 miles) - Kármán line, defining the limit of outer space according to the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale. Aerodynamic surfaces ineffective due to low atmospheric density. Lift speed generally exceeds orbital velocity. Turbopause.
  • 120 km (393,400 ft)(74.6 miles) - First noticeable atmospheric drag during re-entry from orbit
  • 200 km (124.2 miles) - Lowest possible orbit with short-term stability (stable for a few days)
  • 307 km (190.8 miles) - STS-1 mission orbit
  • 350 km (217.4 miles) - Lowest possible orbit with long-term stability (stable for many years)
  • 360 km (223.7 miles) - ISS average orbit, which still varies due to drag and periodic boosting.
  • 390 km (242.3 miles) - Mir mission orbit
  • 440 km (273.4 miles) - Skylab mission orbit
  • 587 km (364.8 miles) - HST orbit
  • 690 km (428.7 miles) - Boundary between thermosphere and exosphere
  • 780 km (484.7 miles) - Iridium orbit
  • 1,374 km (850 miles) - Highest altitude by a manned Earth-orbiting flight (Gemini XI with Agena Target Vehicle)
  • 20,200 km (12,600 miles) - GPS orbit
  • 35,786 km (22,237 miles) - Geostationary orbit height
  • 320,000 km (200,000 miles) - Lunar gravity exceeds Earth's (at Lagrange point)
  • 348,200 km (238,700 miles) - lunar perigee
  • 402,100 km (249,900 miles) - lunar apogee

FAA may refer to: Federal Aviation Administration in the United States Fleet Air Arm in the UK Royal Navy Fuerza Aérea Argentina in Argentina This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... The death zone is a term that refers to high altitudes, encountered by mountain climbers, where the amount of oxygen present cannot sustain human life. ... “Everest” redirects here. ... A Pratt and Whitney turbofan engine for the F-15 Eagle is tested at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, USA. The tunnel behind the engine muffles noise and allows exhaust to escape. ... For the fictional method of interstellar travel, see Bussard ramjet. ... Atmosphere diagram showing stratosphere. ... The mesosphere (from the Greek words mesos = middle and sphaira = ball) is the layer of the Earths atmosphere that is directly above the stratosphere and directly below the thermosphere. ... The mesosphere (from the Greek words mesos = middle and sphaira = ball) is the layer of the Earths atmosphere that is directly above the stratosphere and directly below the thermosphere. ... The thermosphere is the layer of the earths atmosphere directly above the mesosphere and directly below the exosphere. ... Layers of Atmosphere - not to scale (NOAA)[1] Atmospheric gases scatter blue wavelengths of visible light more than other wavelengths, giving the Earth’s visible edge a blue halo. ... The turbopause marks the altitude in the Earths atmosphere below which turbulent mixing dominates. ... STS-1 is also an abbreviation for Synchronous Transport Signal (level)-1 in the SONET hierarchy. ... ISS is an abbreviation, acronym, or initialism that may refer to: The International Space Station is a joint international project to build and maintain an orbiting space station. ... Mir (Russian: ; lit. ... For other uses, see Skylab (disambiguation). ... The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) is a telescope in orbit around the Earth, named after astronomer Edwin Hubble. ... [fAgot png|thumb|200px|right|Atmosphere diagram showing the exosphere and other layers. ... Gemini 11 (officially Gemini XI) was a 1966 manned spaceflight in NASAs Gemini program. ... An Atlas launch vehicle launches GATV-5006 into orbit for the Gemini 11 mission. ... Geostationary orbit A geostationary orbit (GEO) is a geosynchronous orbit directly above the Earths equator (0° latitude), with orbital eccentricity of zero. ... In celestial mechanics, the Lagrangian points, (also Lagrange point, L-point, or libration point) are the five stationary solutions of the circular restricted three-body problem. ...

Regions of outer space

Cislunar space (alternatively, cis-lunar space) is the volume within the Moons orbit, or a sphere formed by rotating that orbit. ... Interplanetary space refers to the region of outer space between planets in a solar system. ... The interstellar medium (or ISM) is the name astronomers give to the tenuous gas and dust that pervade interstellar space. ... Intergalactic space is the physical space between galaxies. ...

Space does not equal orbit

To perform an orbital spaceflight, a spacecraft must travel away from Earth faster than it must for a sub-orbital spaceflight. A spacecraft has not entered orbit until it is traveling with a sufficiently great horizontal velocity such that the acceleration due to gravity on the spacecraft is less than or equal to the centripetal acceleration being caused by its horizontal velocity (see circular motion). So to enter orbit, a spacecraft must not only reach space, but must also achieve a sufficient orbital speed (angular velocity). For a low-Earth orbit, this is about 7.9 km/s (18,000 mph). Konstantin Tsiolkovsky was the first to realize that, given the energy available from any available chemical fuel, a several-stage rocket would be required. The escape velocity to pull free of Earth's gravitational field altogether and move into interplanetary space is about 40,000 km/h (25,000 mph or 11,000 m/s). The energy required to reach velocity for low Earth orbit (32 MJ/kg) is about twenty times the energy required simply to climb to the corresponding altitude (10 kJ/(km·kg)). An orbital spaceflight (or orbital flight) in the general sense is a spaceflight where the trajectory of a spacecraft reaches the height of, and through having an appropriate velocity enters into, orbit around an astronomical body. ... A sub-orbital spaceflight (or sub-orbital flight) is a spaceflight that does not involve putting a vehicle into orbit. ... Two bodies with a slight difference in mass orbiting around a common barycenter. ... Acceleration is the time rate of change of velocity and/or direction, and at any point on a velocity-time graph, it is given by the slope of the tangent to the curve at that point. ... Gravity is a force of attraction that acts between bodies that have mass. ... The centripetal force is the external force required to make a body follow a circular path at constant speed. ... In physics, circular motion is rotation along a circle: a circular path or a circular orbit. ... Two bodies with a slight difference in mass orbiting around a common barycenter. ... The orbital speed of a body, generally a planet, a natural satellite, an artificial satellite, or a multiple star, is the speed at which it orbits around the barycenter of a system, usually around a more massive body. ... Angular velocity describes the speed of rotation and the orientation of the instantaneous axis about which the rotation occurs. ... Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky (Константин Эдуардович Циолковский, Konstanty CioÅ‚kowski) (September 5, 1857 new style – September 19, 1935) was a Russian and Soviet rocket scientist and pioneer of cosmonautics who spent most of his life in a log house on the outskirts of the Russian town of Kaluga. ... For other uses, see Chemistry (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Fuel (disambiguation). ... This article is about vehicles powered by rocket engines. ... Space Shuttle Atlantis launches on mission STS-71. ... Interplanetary space refers to the region of outer space between planets in a solar system. ... Metre per second (U.S. spelling: meter per second) is an SI derived unit of both speed (scalar) and velocity (vector), defined by distance in metres divided by time in seconds. ... The joule (IPA: or ) (symbol: J) is the SI unit of energy. ...


There is a major difference between sub-orbital and orbital spaceflights. The minimum altitude for a stable orbit around Earth (that is, one without significant atmospheric drag) begins at around 350 km (220 miles) above mean sea level. A common misunderstanding about the boundary to space is that orbit occurs simply by reaching this altitude. Achieving orbital speed can theoretically occur at any altitude, although atmospheric drag precludes an orbit that is too low. At sufficient speed, an airplane would need a way to keep it from flying off into space, but at present, this speed is several times greater than anything within reasonable technology. A sub-orbital spaceflight (or sub-orbital flight) is a spaceflight that does not involve putting a vehicle into orbit. ... An orbital spaceflight (or orbital flight) in the general sense is a spaceflight where the trajectory of a spacecraft reaches the height of, and through having an appropriate velocity enters into, orbit around an astronomical body. ... Atmospheric drag is a form of drag, which is the force that opposes an object moving through a liquid or gas. ...


See also

Spaceflight Portal
Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
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Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Wikiquote is a sister project of Wikipedia, using the same MediaWiki software. ... Image File history File links WikiNews-Logo. ... Wikinews is a free-content news source and a project of the Wikimedia Foundation. ... Image File history File links Commons-logo. ... // The Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies also known as the Outer Space Treaty (the Treaty), was opened for signature in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union (the three... This article is about the American space agency. ... An Astronaut Badge is a military badge of the United States, awarded to military aviation pilots who have completed Astronaut training with NASA and performed a successful space flight. ... “Green people” redirects here. ... The InterPlanetary Internet, as presently conceived, is a set of floating nodes in space which can communicate with each other. ... The International Space Station in 2007 A space station is an artificial structure designed for humans to live in outer space. ... Space and survival is the relationship between space and the long-term survival of the human species and civilization. ... Artists conception of a space habitat called the Stanford torus, by Don Davis Space colonization (also called space settlement, space humanization, space habitation, etc. ... Space exploration is the physical exploration of outer space, both by human spaceflights and by robotic spacecraft. ... This space for sale Private spaceflight is flight above 100km Earth altitude conducted by an entity other than a government. ... Space science is an all-encompassing term that describes most all of the various science fields that are concerned with the study of the Universe, generally also meaning excluding the Earth and outside of the Earths atmosphere. Originally, all of these fields were considered part of astronomy. ... Space technology is a term that is often treated as a category. ... The plasma in the solar wind meeting the heliopause The solar wind is a stream of charged particles (i. ... Layers of Atmosphere (NOAA) The Kármán line is an internationally designated altitude commonly used to define outer space. ... This is a list of all spaceflights, both manned and unmanned, sorted chronologically by launch date. ...

References

  1. ^ NASA Human Body in a Vacuum
  2. ^ FAR 121.329, http://www.flightsimaviation.com/data/FARS/part_121-329.html

External links

  • Morgan Freeman's Space Exploration Channel "Our Space" on ClickStar
  • Profits set to soar in outer space
  • Newscientist Space.
  • X PRIZE Foundation.
  • Images of Earth and space taken from outer space
  • Space Wallpapers (1.25 resolutions) and Space Wallpapers (1.33 resolutions)

  Results from FactBites:
 
Outer space - Uncyclopedia (1288 words)
Outer space refers to the large void which occupies the empty areas of the sky, outside of the boundaries of the Earth's personal space.
The physical study of outer space is referred to as astrology (not to be confused with astronomology, an unrelated pseudo-science which centres around predicting the future).
Outer space was, ostensibly, discovered by the first human ever, given how hard it would be to overlook such a monstrosity.
Outer Space Treaty (2502 words)
The exploration and use of outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interests of all countries, irrespective of their degree of economic or scientific development, and shall be the province of all mankind.
Outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, shall be free for exploration and use by all States without discrimination of any kind, on a basis of equality and in accordance with international law, and there shall be free access to all areas of celestial bodies.
Ownership of objects launched into outer space, including objects landed or constructed on a celestial body, and of their component parts, is not affected by their presence in outer space or on a celestial body or by their return to the Earth.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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