Space policy of various powers could easily be critical building blocks of any sort of unified space program in the future. In my search for such policies, I first found what the U.S. had to say in 2006. Considering my deep-space outlook (think edge of the known universe; kiloparsecs), I was mildly annoyed yet not really surprised to read this in the "Goals" section:
"Implement and sustain an innovative human and robotic exploration program with the objective of extending human presence across the solar system."
-Fas.org, U.S. National Space Policy
Solar system? That's only one star! One star with only a handful of objects we give the 'dignity' of being called planets! Of course, we hardly know how blow a craft out to Pluto and get mere information back, never mind pushing the stakes up a few orders of magnitude and going off to the nearest star. This doesn't sound promising. With policy for recent times, the whole idea of going into space that we understand mostly in theory make it's way mostly into fantastical musings, like my own. Is that where they'll stay? I believe that step by step, we may yet reach beyond the boundaries of this star system, and to use something I've practically singlehandedly clichéd, to test the boundaries of beyond with matter we send to gather, and maybe even retrieve...