You are close in your thinking, but I honestly believe (as I write in detail about the conscious being in all of us ) my long winded explanation of Out of Body Experiences - http://www.beemaster.com/site/obe/obe.html
and in particular, I cover the idea that they conscious is a shared collections of lives and experiences, all the knowledge gathered since the beginning of time, which I don't actually know is physical or consciously they are Born without a body, literally the bird of a creature that has evolved to not needing a body. I believe there is a collective universal consciousness - One (which I add with great pointedness) the ability to move through time and space using CONSCIOUS TRAVEL instead of PHYSICAL.
Spend money getting man OUT OF BODY and able to travel seamlessly throughout the Universe with no restriction and as quickly as a thought.
It is time if WE HUMANS every want to reach our potential (and possible move into the next paradigm of human development. Image if we find a drug that totally frees the conscious being (the real you) able to safely leave the body behind (as in regular OBES) but go on step further - we train it to travel where and as we want, to share the CONSCIOUS BEINGS of that place/time.
I think we can do that and a whole lot more going without the need for ships and hundreds of thousands of years of travel. Just imagine being 12 billion miles away in a fraction of a second, with total understanding everything that conscious wishes to share. I do believe the Internet has a conscious of its own - don't you? We have long ago added it to the NOUN category, surely it may be mans parable of his own ability to travel just using the conscious, not any phisical at all.
But importantly, you must have full interaction with the mission specialsts, give them a live time, play by play of what exists throughout space. And who knows, LIKE I THINK, the global consciousness has been here since time itself, the big Internet in the sky has always been there, it has grown substantially throughout time and we aren't discovering it, we are mearly JUMPING aboard a moving train that has ran forever in all and any direction) cool thought.
NASA: I PLEAD, spend MORE MONEY on conscious projects of deep space and time travel. Just think about this, if you are consciously sitting in the middle of a galaxy that shows to be 7 billion years away, think about how many years you have traveled (relative to regular space travel that is) and in live time, through this conscious connection somehow SAVE THIS DIGITALLY as DATA so we can all tap into the booty with all the magical questions it has to answer. All at our taking a MAN MADE CHEMICAL that separates the connection of the two parts of the human being, his safely maintained vitals (remember in OBE, as soon as you think I need to go back to your body, instantly you are there, although of if you have been away long enough, you will have sleep paralasys, a horrifying inability to move the slightest part of your body, seemingly lasting up to a minute.) where the hecck was I...
Let's learn what the conscious world really is. We see magical examples of the conscious, brain and what they can do. The autistic painter who only needs to see a place one second hand he can draw (almost like a dot matrix printer) a detailed copy of everything he saw.
The guy who is severely challenge mentally (the one who looks like Roger Ebert) who know practically every bit of knowledge the world offers, and yet can't tye his own shoes. The musical Savants, the brilliant minds that continue to come up with magical things.
I read a line in a book once "People will come with such vast technology, any species including us would see it as magic, not technology. The main reason, we haven't made it through all the steps to get where we are headed. I think man as a conscious is quickly ready to go mainstream, even if we don't want it to. I think first part of our EVOLUTION to the next ladder on our races development is unleashing the conscious and all share. It would be magical for all to experience the Universe(s) all as part of our genes natural progressing.
I don't think we evolve alone, we strive for knowledge to get where we are headed. To repeat myself, the Conscious Universe is a train already moving from and to anywhere and anytime, we merely need to JUMP ABOARD - once we join the internet of the conscious universe, then you have reached heaven.
I think I'll put this on a post card and send it to a space nerd and a Trekkie, let them hash out the reasoning, I think everything we do is headed toward enlightenment, I just think we need to stop sending the wrong part of us into outer space - break out the good drugs and let the men/women venture the Universe and then put adapters that fit like ear plugs, sold at Walmart tunes us all in - I don't mind someone getting Magic Jack prices for the Universal Conscious :)