I wonder how long it takes to actually put a man on another planet- I'm not necessarily counting on seeing it in my lifetime even though the technical knowledge is probably already there
I sort of addressed this with my religious astronomy rant... It's infuriating to imagine within a decade of leaving earth we walked on the moon. Before computers, basically. What we could do today with the right funding? It would be mind blowing. Damn, look at Curiousity. The most convoluted landing imaginable with rockets and cranes after traveling to another world! And a half century before we walked on the moon? What we could do, but won't, would stagger imagination.
I think we'll see men on Mars by 2050. Long term colony though? Not in our lifetimes. Not unless the commercial/private thing takes off far beyond expectations, which it won't.
Likewise, we could have permanent posts on multiple planets in five to ten years from today if we so wanted. But we don't, to humanities great loss.
It's like with the Chinese... the US refuses to combine resources with the world, yet diminishes funding and capabilities while China and India start from scratch. What the US alone could do would be breathtaking. If we put politics aside for science and exploration, taking the basics of the ESA global? It's sad to ponder the possibilities, ones that we will never see.