Space exploration is for the patient. Science fiction is for phonies.
The popular science fiction (always endemic on this board) with its fantasy physics always ignores immense distances, energies, time, politics and money.
Most importantly money.
During the last 43 years we have probed the entire solar system and are currently roving the sands of Mars as we peck away at our keyboards at a safe distance and for costs that do not over burden society. Space exploration is a constant source of scientific achievement and with advanced directives and equipment (Kepler, Webb) we are going to explore the galaxy in the comfort of our sofas without breaking the bank
Because that's the trick, our robotics can pave the way for us because Space is a harsh place.
Now the next step, and it could take 50 years, is the when we land a lathe and a robot to operate it on the Moon. Soon after there will be an image of a dome and behind it the earth and in the dome there will be a bunch of green leafy things curling up from the lunar soil to reach for the sun. And then things will probably go a lot faster.