Based on current evidence many experts predict that in a couple of decades private companies will be the leaders in space travel. For a long time now the government has had a lock on all space travel, but with companies like Space X and Blue Origin that could all change.
A Mars Mission may seem like a far off idea, but it may not be. With companies like Space X promising to send humans up to Mars by 2024, this flight may become a reality in less than a decade. Many people may ask "Why go to Mars?" and some of the greatest Scientific Minds of our time, such as Buzz Aldrin, Stephan Hawking, and Neil deGrasse Tyson, say that we should exlpore Mars for a handful of reasons. First of all, to ensure the future of our species in case we are threatened with a threat much like the dinosuars. But arguably the most exciting reason is the search for life."
If those Mars Missions take place in the near future this may become a reality. Slight increases in mission times over a long peroid eventually might set up habitats. As those sessons are elongated, those small living areas may turn into civilations. We interviewed Ms. Archer, a former NASA employee, about where she thinks the space program will focus on inovating, and she responded with keeping people alive on Mars.
After colonies are settled, mining on Mars could occur to exploit the metals found in the crust.
Eventually colonies other then Mars might be set up. Over time, these small colonies could become cities and create civilizations on other worlds. There are pros and cons to this. Some pros are that we can collect more data and avoid extiction level events but a con is that Humans may take less care for planet Earth.
With extremely high tech rocketry and communication technology, missions to other stars could one day become possible.