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Remarks by President Bush After Meeting Local Economic Leaders - Excerpt Regarding Columbia Accident Investigation

Status Report From: White House
Posted: Friday, August 22, 2003

Boeing Field King County International Airport Pasco, Washington

22 August 2003 12:50 P.M. PDT

Final question, Bennett of the Houston Chronicle. I've known him for a long time. For those of you who don't know him, he's a fine lad. (Laughter.)

Q I have sort of a Texas-related question. Mr. President, next week there's going to be a report issued on the Space Shuttle Columbia that's expected to be highly critical of NASA. Do you support the resumption of manned-space flights? Do you think the program should be better funded and restructured? Where do you see the future?

THE PRESIDENT: Let me first -- I've been a strong supporter of NASA. I want to look at the report before I comment. You may have seen the report; I haven't, in which case, I want to look at it. I do believe that a space program is important for a country that is trying to stay on the leading edge of technological change. But let me look and first see what the report says, how critical it is, what it says, what it means. And I'll answer -- try to answer that very question after I've had a chance to enrich my knowledge about a pending report.

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