Now, after killing the Hubble Telescope the US government (pick your favorite public official to blame) is planning to spend hundreds of billions of dollars of money they don’t have to send people to Mars. More details in this Wired article. It brings up the fact that several times more taxpayer money is spent on NASA than its deep sea equivalent, NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). I think it should be the other way around.
So, why would our government be so much more interested in exploring Mars than under the ocean? I think it has more than a little to do with some sort of macho bravado or whatever. It makes us look cool or something because we can go to other planets. Also, it’s not like we could just take over the oceans if we wanted… all the land on Earth has been divided up already. If we want to take over more land, we have to go to other planets.
Those both seem like pretty simple-minded reasons, but I don’t really have that much faith that our administration would have any other kind of reasons for anything they do.