Thing is, the Moon is not by any sensible analysis the next best destination for furthering space exploration. The public's simplistic idea that the Moon is some kind of stop-off point on the way to elsewhere such as Mars is just wrong. It isn't a gas station on a lonely highway. Getting to Mars is far more sensibly done with a direct flight, and searching for life elsewhere in the solar system is best served by visiting Europa and other locations, not faffing about with the Moon just because of public perception and media/movie myths and stereotypes.