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March 25, 2003 | 8:27 a.m.(EST)

Q: Ashley, from Philadelphia, PA.:
What is your reaction to today's news that the economy expanded at a 4.1 percent in the first quarter?

A: Scott McClellan, White House Press Secretary:
That's another sign that the economy is strong and growing stronger. We're seeing sustained economic growth. Obviously, there are people that are still looking for work that cannot find work, and we need to continue to act to make sure that we're creating as robust an environment for job creation as possible.

We've had six straight months of new jobs being created. The unemployment rate at 5.6 percent is below the average of the '70s, '80s, and '90s. Productivity is high; disposable income is up. The economy is strong and growing stronger. It's moving in the right direction.

March 24, 2003 | 11:15 a.m.(EST)

Q: Ron, from El Cajon, California:
What do you think of today's reports that there was a sea on Mars? Do you believe there was life on Mars? Could there still be life on Mars?

A: Sean O'Keefe, NASA Administrator:
We think the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity is in the vicinity of what was once a shoreline of a salty sea on the red planet. If we are correct in our interpretation, this was once a habitable environment. It's a salt flat.

These are the kinds of environments that are suitable for life on Earth, but we don't know if that was the case on Mars. We have not found any evidence of past life on Mars, but we will continue our efforts to gather data, and maybe eventually answer that intriguing question.


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