Currently, that means smarter robots in space. Like Curiosity. Astronaut, like slide rules, are quaint but obsolete technology for space travel.
Not to be too impolite about things... but I kind of don't really give a sh*t about you putting a box with blinky lights on Mars. I have one of those in my closet, it's called an "Arris WiFi Cable Modem".
Unless there are people there to watch it blink, it might as well be a frigging brick.
I watched every damn Apollo launch. When I started school, and there was a launch, I had a note from my mother the next day: "Stayed home to watch the launch". I was always given makeup tests, but since 1/3 of the kids stayed out for the same reason, they eventually interrupted classes for the launches, even if they were "uninteresting" ones.
Who the heck stays home from school to watch the live video of a launch for a little box? Pretty much no one. If you care (which you likely don't, because no one cares about a brick), you watch the video later, on YouTube.
I think one of the reasons SpaceX tried to "stick" the water landing was that no one had done it before, and so the intent was to get people excited about watching things again.
It didn't really work, because it wasn't that exciting, after they blew the first one up.
Send a human to Ceres: my nieces and nephews are going to be staying home and watching the launch with me, even if I have to hog-tie their mother. They will also be watching the approach and landing on the asteroid itself.
Send humans to Phobos, or Mars itself: same thing.
Humans doing things is exciting. Robots operating as they are designed to operate is intensely boring.
The ESA robot mission to Mars has a malfunction? Who gives a crap. Apollo 13 has a malfunction? OMG, I don't know how I did it, but I'm pretty sure I was away like 76 hours straight, glued to the screen.
The incrementalists can all go scr*w themselves: If you all want to take "baby steps" to get from point A to point B, like NBill Murray in "What About Bob?": feel free to fund it yourself.
If, on the other hand, you want to make a "giant leap for mankind", we'll get behind you with the $$$.
P.S.: You can also fund yourself for a "giant leap for a brick"; no one cares if you put a Raspberry Pi on Mars. Really.