Perhaps this is just me but I wish the trip to Mars to take place, I wish for a trip to the moons of Jupiter to take place afterwards. Mankind is doomed without reaching out and colonizing, we are already destroying our own ability to live on this planet. Many may argue that mankind has no mandate to exist afterwards but I would argue that we do. For our many faults there are possibilities unrealized, there is music unmade and art unperformed or seen. For a thinking species we are nothing more than babes. having existed for only heartbeats in Galactic terms. Have you imagined what we may become if we survive long enough, evolve into? Imagine what we may discover and know as we “grow up” and become with time.
That said and being a contrary person I still remember the lyrics of the old “Hawkwind” song; “Shoals of dead fish float on the lakes but Uncle Sam’s on Mars, science is making the same mistakes, but uncle Sam’s on Mars. Layers of smoke in the atmosphere have made the earth too hot to bear.
The Earth might be a desert soon but America has left the Moon. Uncle Sam’s on Mars” etc.
We are on a downward spiral, population growth, climate change, economic vagaries and politicism of even the meekest in society wither through actual change or religious zealotry. The way to save the potential of the human race is through expansion. It is, as it was, and as it will always be.
Just my humble opinion.