[QODLink]
AMERICAS
Obama fends off 'space attack'
US president defends move to cancel "moon return" mission, promising bigger plans.
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2010 05:39 GMT

"Nobody is more committed to human space exploration than me." Barack Obama, the US president, made the statement at the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, on Thursday in defence of his controversial plan to cancel a programme run by Nasa aimed at returning astronauts to the moon.

Politicians from both the Democratic and Republican parties attacked the move, saying it would take away many jobs across the nation.

But Obama assured the country of his commitment, announcing he will add $6bn to Nasa's $19bn annual budget over the next five years.

He also said he aims to provide the US with "new spacecraft by 2025, that allows us to begin the first-ever crewed missions beyond the moon into deep space".

"I believe we can send humans to orbit Mars and return them safely to Earth," he said.

Al Jazeera's Rob Reynolds reports from Washington.

Source:
Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.