The region beyond the Earth's atmosphere. Its beginning is hard to define, for the atmosphere does not end abruptly but simply grows thinner and thinner with increasing height.
For man, the conditions of space begin at about 45,000 feet. Above this level, he requires a sealed, pressurized suit or cabin for breathing. Winged, airbreathing jet aircraft can operate at sustained altitudes of a little more than 80,000 feet.
Balloons have risen to about 150,000 feet. Rocket-powered aircraft, not requiring oxygen from the air, have ascended to more than 354,000 feet, or some 67 miles, a level above 99 percent of the atmosphere. At an altitude of about 100 miles, satellites can orbit the Earth. Here, true space may be said to begin.
The farther regions of space are described by the bodies that limit them. Cislunar space is the area between the Earth and the moon. Interplanetary space lies between the sun and the planets of the solar system. Interstellar space lies between the stars of a galaxy. Intergalactic space unimaginably huge lies between the myriad galaxies of the universe.
Space remains the greatest frontier for humanity. A vast universe in which humans are taking their first exploratory steps, stretches in all directions around our planet. No human has yet been further than the moon. Even our own solar system is still largely unknown.
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