Status Report

Excerpt from Daily Press Briefing regarding White House Space Policy Activities

By SpaceRef Editor
December 4, 2003
Filed under , ,

QUESTION: Scott, is the president and the White House planning a
new space initiative that includes travel to the moon and to Mars?

MCCLELLAN: Yes. Let me, kind of, go back and refresh your
memory a little bit.

Several months ago, the president initiated an interagency review
of space exploration to determine the appropriate future course of
United States space exploration activities. The president is strongly
committed to the exploration of space.

That review is ongoing at this point. It has been under way and
it continues and it is ongoing.

QUESTION: Would the president like to have a new initiative that
goes (OFF-MIKE)

MCCLELLAN: Well, look, I think as long as this review is under
way, it would be premature to get into any speculation about our space

It has been and continues to be under review. There are no plans
for any policy announcements in the immediate future and that would
include any upcoming speeches.

I’ve seen the reports you’re referring to. And I would encourage
— those reports are not coming out of the White House. And I would
encourage you — if you want to follow those reports, that’s certainly
your prerogative, but I encourage you not to, because the review —
our interagency review of space exploration is ongoing, so it’s
premature to get into any speculation about some of that space policy.

QUESTION: Taking a step back from this particular source, other
presidents have talked about space and, sort of, broadly about the

MCCLELLAN: As has this president.

QUESTION: … the idea and the desire about what they want to do
in terms of space exploration. In conversations, has the president
talked about the fact that he would like, during his presidency, to
have some kind of situation where he can get to the moon or Mars?

MCCLELLAN: I think you’ve heard the president talk about the
importance of space exploration, the importance of continuing our
journey into space. He remains strongly committed to those efforts.
And you can look back at his budget and his proposals that he has

And you know, you’re asking me to, kind of, jump ahead of an
interagency review process that’s going on to make recommendations and
then the president will make some decisions to determine the future
direction of space exploration.

QUESTION: Is he planning to visit North Carolina, Kitty Hawk, to
talk about this?

MCCLELLAN: Well, as you know, I don’t announce events this far
in advance. But I made it very clear to you that there are no plans
to make any policy announcements on our space program at any immediate
upcoming speeches.

SpaceRef staff editor.