The president has said we should go back to the Moon and on to Mars, this time to stay. Of course from his mouth to the ears of NASA is a journey far greater than the distance to the Moon.
Already, the concept of permanence has been redefined by those who are mono-maniacally focused on the end point of Mars. They have jettisoned lunar development, instead opting for touch-and-go missions to the Moon on the way to a grand-flags-and-footprints mission to Mars. They prefer Apollo redux rather than the careful build up of an Earth-Moon infrastructure that can teach us how to go and live anywhere in space forever.
That's about where I come from to. There is no point in having an Apollo sequel. I have no interest in sending a man to Mars so he can plant a flag in the ground, pat himself on the back, and never go back.
The real goal should be a permanent presence in space, which requires something more than just science experiments in lab modules. It's about real people in space for colonization purposes - or at least it should be. That requires NASA to think about the exploitation and the industrialization of space resources.
Somehow I doubt NASA will ever get on board that bandwagon.
Tip o' the hat to Transterrestrial.