what's the point of a manned expedition to Mars? If a robot hasn't found anything of any significance maybe just wait to we get some other propulsion system that isn't reliant to chemical reaction.
Popping a capsule 6K miles over Earth really isn't more than a high school experiment for NASA. What's needed is a system that propels a device into space without using a mixture of O2 and kerosene for propulsion.
This isn't the 60s but a new millennium if NASA can't evolve with the times then maybe they should just disappear. Private corporations could prove to be just as reliable when it comes to space exploration without
the monkey on the back of government funding, if there isn't a profit motive then why should we go there?