The United States is not spending enough on space exploration, Sen. Jake Garn said Tuesday, the third anniversary of his space shuttle flight.

Garn, R-Utah, spoke to students at the Pentagon's National Defense University.

"There is no doubt we could go to Mars by 2010 if we really wanted to do it and if we started to put enough emphasis on it," Garn said. "The only limiting factor is the Congress of the United States."

He said the Reagan administration has asked for enough money for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, but he faulted President Reagan for not fighting "hard enough to keep it in the budget."

"We're looking at a very bleak future as far as space is concerned," he said.

The space station project took a 60 percent cut last year, and is "hanging on by its fingernails, and that's all," Garn said.