BANGKOK - The United States says it will not be able to carry out a major climate study this year because Thailand has delayed a decision on whether to grant the U.S. space agency permission to use a key naval air base.
NASA's request to use Thailand's U-Tapao air base as the project's operations center has faced opposition from critics who say it could be a cover for military purposes. The base is located in Chonburi province, 190 kilometers (118 miles) southeast of Bangkok.
"It is too early to say at this time whether resources will be available to revisit the project next year," U.S. Embassy spokesman Walter Braunohler told The Associated Press on Thursday.
The project, called the "Southeast Asia Composition, Cloud, Climate Coupling Regional Study," was to use satellites, aircraft and ground missions to study how air circulation during the monsoon affects the climate and air quality in South and Southeast Asia.
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