Once in the game you have to stay in it. Spaceflight is hard. You have to slowly build up infrastructure. This blurb explains gigantism:
Things aren't going to get cheaper--but like WWII, if something is important--it costs what it costs.
Being a starfaring species is something we are going to have to do--and you have to stay in the game. Profits be damned. Its not about romance,but survival. We have to first get beyond this idea of not having anything more than what someone says we need.
The Wright brothers didn't need to play with flying machines, they could have been medical doctors.
But what if all we did was what some commissar said was necessary? If all we did was raise food and meds, then all we become as humans is walking stomachs. We have to push onwards. We need existing weather satellites today. Imagine if someone raided space budgets just to build more hospitals. Then we wouldn't have weather sats and deaths would actually be higher, even if we did what some thought was prudent.
We can walk and chew gum both at the same time.
Now in terms of the study, the lander actually reminds me of the FLEM study
That was back when folks thought that Mars was just the Moon with bad weather.
What we do now is have Delta (or Atlas rockets) launch warheads that slam into Mars atmosphere.
Larger spacecraft may brake, with payloads coming in more slowly. That will require larger and larger LVs, as Musk is planning for MCT. We have a lot of vertical weld tools and tankage fabrication being paid for under SLS. Same with the F-1 having new life. If this work is completed, Musk might benefit from that.