It is difficult to get NASA leadership to explain the purpose of this mission, not because they’re obdurate, but because they seem genuinely confused by the question. We’ve already been to the Moon, and Mars comes after the Moon. What part of that is not clear? The idea that a human landing might be in tension with other forms of exploration, or that the might need to make a case for the mission, does not enter into their thinking.

Source: Why Not Mars (Idle Words)

This article contains lots of things I didn’t previously know