What are the advantages of going to Mars, from a political viewpoint? 


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Samuel Chiltern Profile
Samuel Chiltern answered
A manned mission to Mars would be extremely expensive and difficult, and I expect it would face strong political opposition. However, there would be political benefits too, if it captured the public imagination.

A Mission to Mars Would be an Opportunity for Investment
It would take an enormous amount of funding to execute such a mission, but such a project would create jobs and investment.

When the NASA Space Shuttle program was still active, it employed 25,000 skilled workers across five bases in the US. That project has been closed now, and a mission to Mars would fill the gap perfectly.

Improvements in International Relations
It's unlikely the US could man a mission to Mars alone, so it would almost certainly involve cooperation with other nations too. A Mars mission would probably also divert funding and resources away from warfare.

New Discoveries and Technology
Naturally, further exploration of Mars would lead to more discoveries about how the planet formed, and how it works now. Mars can be thought of as a primitive Earth in many ways, and learning more about it would give us valuable insight into how our own planet has evolved.

The logistical and technological problems that would need to be solved in order to send humans to Mars would lead to new technologies that would filter down into everyday society. It's inevitable that the private sector would be involved in such a mission, so these new ideas would come to market quickly.

The cumulative benefits of a mission to Mars would be likely to capture the public's hearts and minds, if executed correctly. However, in the current climate of austerity, such a mission would most likely be viewed with anger by a large section of the electorate.
Arthur Wright Profile
Arthur Wright answered
They really aren't any advantages to going to Mars from anyone's viewpoint. It would be a true waste of money, because nothing can be accomplished there to help the people back on Earth.

It would take many years to develop somewhere liveable there, so it would be political suicide to pursue it in today's economy - as the tax payer's money is definitely needed elsewhere.

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