I think this depends on who you ask and what your criteria are. Many of the initial reasons for exploring space were political (a race to beat the Russians, etc.), and it was deemed important from a political standpoint as well as for gathering information. Exploring the oceans is certainly cheaper and easier than space travel, and one could argue it should be a higher priority to understand our own planet first before trying to expand to the moon or other planets. I think both have their merits, and hopefully both will be able to be explored in the future. If forced to chose one or the other for practical purposes, I’d go with the oceans for now due to the economic crisis and just because it seems more feasible, but I wouldn’t want the space program canceled or future possibilities of space exploration closed forever.
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