Wants to send persons to mars.
Do you suppose he likes traveling. Perhaps you may have noticed a non-self serving aspect to his behavior. Perhaps not.
Coincidences current are mars landing craft. Apparently looking for water or perhaps something else?
Privatizing mars for prisons is an idea, but too much energy is required to ship out all the peasantry. Then who would do all the labor?
How about a slave planet. Not a new idea is it? Two is better than one
Then again you may ask if a dictator need a distraction that's not war? Historically nothing comes to my mind since the inquisition and the exploration of the new world.
Still curious is the fact that these initiative tend to have by partisan concurrence. (The sop- the Same Old Party is always in control.) But what could be the purpose.
Is there something of value on mars?
Is it radioactive?