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(Jon sez:)

Your Writer: Jon Kilgannon Benjamin is being a real jerk, isn't he? We'll find out why on Thursday, I swear! I don't mean to keep all these secrets!

Aw, who am I kidding, I love keeping secrets. I do promise that a big secret will be revealed with our next page, though.

In other news: By the time you read this, SpaceShipOne will (weather permitting) have launched from the Mojave Airport on a step towards its attempt to win the X Prize. SpaceShipOne looks like a retro-futuristic rocket, with its sweeping wings and star-spangled paint job. The White Knight plane will carry SpaceShipOne up into the atmosphere for an hour, then release it. If everything goes as planned, SpaceShipOne's rocket will light and launch it up to 100 kilometers, followed by a return to Mojave.

The launch should be broadcast on CNN. If you read this before 6:30 AM US Pacific Daylight Time (2:30 PM GMT), see if you can find a channel or website showing the launch live.

(Mark sez:)

Your Artist: Mark Sachs Jon's got private covered, so I'll handle public.

NASA's Cassini probe is finally going into orbit around Saturn, after seven years of travel; assuming it safely traverses the ring plane, it will then spend months imaging most of Saturn's moons and the planet itself, as well as dropping the Huygens probe into the atmosphere of the cloud-shrouded moon of Titan. If, as some theorize, Titan has oceans on its surface, the Huygens probe is capable of splashing down safely and returning at least a few minutes more of data. I was just old enough, way back in 1980-81, to remember the two Voyager probes' arrival at Saturn and the spectacular pictures they returned. Cassini should provide a similar show; I just wish we still had Carl Sagan around to narrate it for us.