America is the richest nation the world has ever known but it consistently has its priorities all messed up, for instance, it devotes $20 billion annually for space exploration, which includes spending inordinate sums of that money for a plan to send astronauts to Mars, sometime around the 2030s. The United States doesn't need to go to Mars, it doesn't need to and shouldn't fund any missions to Mars, and it has already spent billions upon billions of dollars on space exploration that simply isn't necessary.
If Mars or the Moon, or space exploration is so important to certain people in America, let those people with non-governmental money, make such an exploration, as opposed to taking billions upon billions of dollars, year after year, that could be spent as an aid and as a service to real human beings that have a need right here in America, on planet earth. The problem with space exploration is the same basic problem that you have in the misallocation of resources when they aren't required, necessary, mandatory, or even really desirable.
There isn't any good point in sending astronauts to Mars, if millions of citizens of this great nation, cannot get themselves a good paying job, a square meal, affordable healthcare, adequate education, or decent housing, for the reality of the situation is that there isn't anything on Mars worth getting, just as there wasn't a thing on Moon worth getting, seeing, or investigating.
The thing about space exploration in general, is that it is primarily a sideshow, for basically it is an avenue for scientists and engineers that are very intelligent and skilled to prove how mankind can actually accomplish something that takes extraordinary effort, deep thinking and persistence in order to successfully achieve such, but the mission itself, typically doesn't have any real value in the present time and doesn't have any real value in the future.
What would be valuable, for all these government bureaucrats and all these esteemed scientists and engineers with PhDs to do is to actually come up with a sustainable plan that will take care of their fellow citizens in a manner in which, each and everyone in this country, can actually have the basic necessities that a country with the highest amount of millionaires, with the highest amount of billionaires, with the highest amount of net assets, and with the highest amount of GDP on a yearly basis, should be able to easily afford and accomplish. Because if the United States of America with its trillions upon trillions of dollars in assets can't get it done now, and they haven't gotten it done since the Great Society was promulgated by President Johnson in 1964, when will it ever get done?
There isn't any good reason why space exploration should be supported by the taxpayer's dollars, nor is there any good point in a lot of other stupid, unnecessary programs that this government gets involved with. What is especially galling about the space program is its basic premise is that somehow our future lies in outer space, whereas the reality of it is, if America cannot get its own house in order on planet earth, and it has not, every dollar spent on space exploration, is really just another stiff boot being applied against the prone necks of the common people of America, all in support of the military-industrial complex and the scientific-technological elite.