Machines do not explore
Exploration needs human beings.
Sending unmanned probes, robots etc is valid and important scientific investigation. This country does not participate in exploration and has never done so.
Considering the history of the UK, this is an extreme departure. People from here have been exploring the planet for centuries. We seem to have turned our backs on the past - and the future.
50 years ago, we started to let the USA and USSR explore. The money we "saved" has never been used to feed the poor, house the homeless, the NHS, overseas aid, or any other valid cause. It has been frittered away on beurocrats, big government and political white elephants.
We could put billions into space exploration and worthy causes need not loose out. They could cut back even larger figures from parliament, Whitehall, and other wastes of money. Will they do that though? No chance!