Obama's Moon plans 'catastrophic', say former NASA astronauts

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London, March 13 (ANI): A BBC report has voiced the displeasure that former NASA astronauts have over US President Barack Obama's decision to push Moon missions further back, with one astronaut even saying that it would be catastrophic for US space exploration.

The astronauts spoke to the BBC at a private event at the Royal Society in London on March 12, organised by the Foundation for Science and Technology.

Jim Lovell, commander of the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission, said that Obama's decision would have "catastrophic consequences" for US space exploration.

Last month, Obama cancelled NASA's Constellation Moon landings programme, approved by ex-President George W Bush.

NASA still aims to send astronauts back to the Moon, but it is likely to take decades and some believe that it will never happen again.

The last man on the Moon, Eugene Cernan, said Obama's decision was "disappointing".

As the last astronaut to return to the Apollo 17 lunar module in 1972, Cernan was the last man to set foot on the Moon.

"I'm quite disappointed that I'm still the last man on the Moon. I thought we'd have gone back long before now," he said.

As to why he believes Americans should go back to the Moon, Cernan said, "I think America has a responsibility to maintain its leadership in technology and its moral leadership to seek knowledge. That's the essence of human existence."

It is a view shared by fellow Apollo Astronaut Jim Lovell, the heroic commander of Apollo 13.

"Personally I think it will have catastrophic consequences in our ability to explore space and the spin-offs we get from space technology," he said.

"They haven't thought through the consequences," he added.

Although Cernan and Lovell expressed their dismay with Obama's decision, Neil Armstrong tactfully avoided the subject. (ANI)

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