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Last updated: 1 february, 2010 - 12:32 GMT

Obama scraps funding for Nasa's American Moon base mission

Half moon

President Obama has scrapped a plan to establish a US base on the Moon.

In his federal budget request issued on Monday, Mr Obama said the project was "over budget, behind schedule, and lacking in innovation".

Instead, the American space agency, Nasa is to get funding to encourage private companies to build, launch and operate their own spacecraft, which could be used to carry astronauts to the International Space Station.

The BBC's Dan Damon asked Dr Andrew Coates of the Mullard Space Science Lab whether the budget cuts were bad news for Nasa.

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First broadcast 1 February 2010

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