NASA, in building a spacecraft that could go beyond low earth orbit, would inevitably have test runs of those systems to low earth orbit. Especially given the risk tolerance at NASA today, with requirements for backup spacecraft and all (remember the second shuttle waiting on the launch pad just in case at the end of that program?) So while their stated goals are beyond low earth orbit... I don't believe they'll do better again, if they manage to pull even a low earth orbit test flight off.
Space travel takes time, money, engineering talent, a willingness to take risks and perseverance. On most counts, there is none of that in the U.S. anymore. You can still find good engineers I suspect, but all other factors trump that. Can you imagine a concerted space initiative crossing presidential administrations in this day and age... even of the same party let alone crossing party lines? Kennedy and Nixon both had cold war agendas that drove their programs; Apollo for Kennedy probably wasn't hurt by his assassination, ensuring that later administrations would carry forward in the name of a beloved president. Nixon was convinced that the space shuttle could pluck Soviet satellites out of orbit and so saw compelling reason to go for it.
Today, announcing a bold national commitment to a new manned space program and putting words into action would draw at least a thousand interest groups claiming that their need was greater.... feed the poor, house the unhoused, create art, etc. This sort of thing wouldn't survive the appropriations process in this day and age... way too many people that vote now are dependent on handouts from the same source of funds to make it practical or popular. Never mind an economy that is shambles, despite the opinion of certain political and economic interests, and simply can't afford such an endeavour.