Scientists are divided about the use of the Moon as a base to develop ways to travel to Mars, according to reports given to the US government.

Some have said the possibility of water-ice existing at the lunar poles would allow a moonbase to use the ice as rocket fuel for a Mars mission.

Others contend that it would be too difficult to extract.

And there is disagreement about whether the moon is a good alternative to space as a base for advanced telescopes.

In January, President Bush redirected the US space effort sending astronauts back to the Moon and then onto Mars.

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