Kolkata: Former NASA astronaut Marsha S Ivnis on Thursday said there should be more lunar missions in future where it takes less time to reach.
"Future space missions should aim at the Moon as it is comparatively nearer than other celestial objects like the Mars," she said at a programme in Science City here.
"Since it could be three days to go to the Moon, it would be easier to reach out to Mars from there than direct Mars mission from the Earth," Ivnis told more 1200 high school students of city schools present in the programme.
The distance from Earth to Mars could be six months, she said.
Ivnis, who is a veteran of five space flights and spent 1,318 hours in space, called for more spending on space missions.
She regretted that not enough funds are allocated for space research.
"In US we spend more on pizzas than on our entire space program. The funds comes to nothing if you compare it with the spending of other sectors," Ivnis said.