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A former Nasa astronaut has said President Obama is "not interested" in space exploration and that the United States' dependence on Russia for technology is "humiliating".

Walt Cunningham, who was the Lunar Module pilot on the Apollo 7 mission, made the comments to Spanish newspaper El Mundo. He was visiting Tenerife for the astronomy-based Starmus International Festival.

Speaking about Nasa's current projects, he said: "Mars should be our main goal, but unfortunately the sad reality is that we are not doing enough to achieve it. Since the early 70s we said that after the moon, we would travel to Mars. We could have gotten there a long time ago. But over time, NASA has been becoming increasingly bureaucratic... and unable to take risks."

He said he does not think Nasa will reach Mars by 2030, as it is currently aiming for, adding that the current mission to land on an asteroid is pointless. The space agency is currently planning to land on an asteroid by the 2020s as a stepping stone to Mars.

"The idea of traveling to an asteroid seems like a stupid waste of time. The worst part is that Obama is not the least bit interested in space," said Cunningham.

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