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(Jon sez:)

Your Writer: Jon Kilgannon I think that there's probably a rule that whenever a writer calls for a long shot in a comic (like in the panel on the bottom left), the artist will send ninjas to kill him.

Fortunately, the rains here will wash away any ninja armies before they reach me.

Today's a day for space news. First, the countdown for the launch of the shuttle Discovery will start tomorrow. The three-day countdown begins on the 28th and ends with launch on July 1 at 3:49 PM Eastern US Time.

NASA has plans for how to deal with damage to the orbiter. These plans include patching any small cracks with an EVA, or dealing with larger problems by bringing the orbiter to the International Space Station to provide oxygen and other consumables while the shuttle's crew waits for a ride home on the shuttle Atlantis.

Second, the two new moons which were discovered in 2005 circling Pluto have been named Nix and Hydra. The "N" and "H" names were chosen to honor the New Horizons mission that will pass by Pluto in 2015, and the Hubble Telescope which was the first to image the moons. Pluto now has three known and named moons: Charon, the boatman over the river Styx in Hades; Nix, the mother of Charon; and Hydra, a monster that lived at the entrance to Hades.

(Mark sez:)

Your Artist: Mark Sachs In this scene, the Venusian government is going to discover that the phrase "Martian detector" can be interpreted in two very different ways.