Hmm... I used to think so, but now I have changed my mind.
All we need to know about that planet we can discover by use of robotics. As we have been doing. After all, the only real thing we want to know about it that we don't already know is if there is life. (of course it would be in the microbial form.) And we can do this--some say we already have--by drilling core samples into deep ice strata where there was perhaps once water.
Having said that, I think that Yes, we WILL someday send a manned mission to Mars. More as a PR stunt and funding justifier for NASA than anything else.
The hard fact is that after we reached the moon in 1969 and fulfilled JFK's promise to do just that, that he made about eight years before, most Americans lost interest in the Space Program. This is evidenced by the fact that very very few Americans can tell you who went to the Moon, and how many astronauts did, after that famous Apollo 11 trip with Neil Armostrong and his "small step for man" quote.
It's hella expensive to go to Mars! A 6-month trip instead of the four days to the Moon. It has been calculated that the expense of the Moon landing was equivalent to if all the astronauts had been made of solid gold. Along with the craft itself.
Solid platinum. Enough money to send out a couple dozen robotic missions, which would arguable reap more useful data.
By far, the best bang-for-the-buck space endeavor we EVER did was the Hubble Telescope. All those wonderful pictures! They enlightened more people about the Cosmos and taught us more than any other manned mission, and by several orders of magnitude.
And don't get me started on the Space Shuttle Program. Insofar is gleaned information is concerned, it was a total failure. And an expensive one. A PURE funding ruse and PR program from NASA. Hardly anybody outside of those former employees of that program will even attempt to argue this point.
Side: Wait..., what? No!!!
To be honest I don't know if we should go to Mars. I do however ask myself the question could we make our world better than it has been with all the billions of dollars we are sinking into the space program. Could we use that money to further educate people here on planet Earth in an effort to eliminate the status quote of greed. I was encouraged by a program called the Genesis Project which had vast new innovative ways to look at the future and future technology here on earth for example growing food on top of skyscraper buildings across the country which would cut down on the cost of transferring the same foods from farms to cities and that was only one of the many ideas that I thought was viable for the upcoming future.
Side: Wait..., what? No!!!
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