Most of the research purpose of sending human beings into space is to test the effects of sending human beings into space. The missions exist to test whether the missions can continue. This seems the very definition of futility.
Psst, gentlemen. I have an idea here. There are a fucking lot of people who think that space travel is really really cool. How ’bout we let them spend their own money on space travel programmes, sort of like these guys or these guys or these guys? Problem solved.