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Glenn Mahone/Doc Mirelson
Headquarters, Washington
(Phone: 202/358-1898/1600)

January 4, 2004
RELEASE : 04-001
NASA Administrator Marks Successful Spirit On Mars
The following is a statement from NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe regarding Saturday's successful landing of the first Mars Excursion Rover (MER), Spirit, on the Martian surface.

"Congratulations to the Mars Rover team on achieving a successful landing on the surface of Mars by the Rover Spirit. This amazing feat, coming so soon in the New Year, is a tribute to the dedication to the many men and women throughout NASA and our many partners who worked extremely hard to give our amazing rovers the best chance for success on their mission of exploration on the Red Planet.

"In a few weeks, Spirit's twin Opportunity will be landing on the other side of the planet. The rovers will soon begin their mission to search the rocks of Mars for signs that water may have been present for long periods of time--signs that may tell us whether Mars could have been hospitable to life in the past."

More information about the Mars rover missions is available on the Internet at:

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