Time, as we experience it, has different components sharing a common unit (such as seconds). There is the scientific time that is analytic in a way that makes possible mechanistic models that are very successful at modeling the physical world. There is the historic time that allows for growing intelligence made possible by the additional evidence that comes inevitably from the passage of time. For intelligence to act upon the physical (mechanistic) world to exercise a free will, there is a component of time required for persuasion through some process that allows for selecting the opportunities presented by the otherwise indifferent physical world.
We could be focusing on building a material supply chain in space instead of fragile missions for immediate manned exploration.