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The ionization energy of ortho-H$_2$ has been determined to be $E^/mathrm{o}_/mathrm{I}(/mathrm{H}_2)/(hc)=124/,357.238/,062(25)$ cm$^{-1}$ from measurements of the GK(1,1)--X(0,1) interval by Doppler-free two-photon spectroscopy using a narrow band 179-nm laser source and the ionization energy of the GK(1,1) state by continuous-wave near-infrared laser spectroscopy. $E^/mathrm{o}_/mathrm{I}$(H$_2$) was used to derive the dissociation energy of H$_2$, $D^{N=1}_{0}$(H$_2$), at $35/,999.582/,894(25)$ cm$^{-1}$ with a precision that is more than one order of magnitude better than all previous results. The new result challenges calculations of this quantity and represents a benchmark value for future relativistic and QED calculations of molecular energies.

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