Comments about NASA and Space Policy by White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, 6 January 2004

Press Release From: White House
Posted: Tuesday, January 6, 2004

1:00 P.M. EST

MR. McCLELLAN: Good afternoon. Happy New Year to you all, as well. The President today, on behalf of our nation, called to congratulate NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe and the jet propulsion laboratory team on the successful landing of the Rover Spirit on Mars. The President thanked the NASA team for their hard work and ingenuity, and for reaffirming the great spirit of American exploration. The President shares in the excitement of all Americans as we see the dramatic images from Spirit's new home and we know that it is only a glimpse of the things to come as Spirit begins its historic trek across the Mars landscape.

The President is strongly committed to the exploration of space, and thanks to the great work of those at NASA, America continues to be on the leading edge of exploration and discovery. I think the Rover embodies the best of American ingenuity, technical know-how and can-do spirit.

And with that, I will be glad to go into your questions.

Q Speaking of the President being strongly committed to the exploration of space, since you're on that, is there anything that the President is going to say about -- does he have any new ideas about space, any new goals to set?

MR. McCLELLAN: There's no update to what the President has previously said and what I have previously said, that, as you are aware, in the aftermath of the tragic Columbia accident, the President asked -- or directed his administration to review our space policy, and that is where it stands.

Q Have any recommendations come to him, or do you know where that stands, where that process is?

MR. McCLELLAN: The review has been moving forward, and I have no additional update at this time.

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