President Obama's proposed budget cuts funding for a planned moon mission. (Photo Credit: Getty Images/File)
(CNN) - American astronauts will not return to the moon as planned if Congress passes President Obama's proposed budget.
Obama's budget - which aims to tighten the nation's purse strings in certain areas while increasing money used to create jobs - would cancel NASA's Constellation Program, which had sought to send astronauts back to the moon by 2020.
Constellation also intended to study the idea of establishing a moon colony. The program was set to follow the U.S. space agency's shuttle missions, which are due to end in September.
On its Web site, the White House Budget Office says the program to send astronauts to the moon is behind schedule, over budget and overall less important than other space investments.
"Using a broad range of criteria, an independent review panel determined that even if fully funded, NASA's program to repeat many of the achievements of the Apollo era, 50 years later, was the least attractive approach to space exploration as compared to potential alternatives," the site says.