I was looking at the reasons and cost for our Mars exploration program. Curiosity cost 2.5 Billion. The current plan presented to Congress is for 1.5 Billion for a similar rover but with the capability of launching samples of the soil into orbit where they could be retrieved by later missions to Mars. The primary focus of the program is for a science/human exploration plan with an initial goal of determining if life evolved beyond earth in the solar system.
We just can't believe that there isn't life "out there" because there is life here on earth. They can't believe that life was created here. It must have evolved and for years we have believed that other planets have life and that some of them must be more advanced that us because they have had a few millions of years to develop their technology.
And yet all of our science has found no signs of extra-terrestrial beings after 40 years of searching with all of our technology. However we still have cartoons of aliens in space ships looking for our leader. We love to believe in Buck Rogers and all of the Starship movies as fact.
It is costing us real dollars to support this fantasy.
I favor sending scientific experiments to the other planets to determine their composition and atmosphere. It is obvious that Venus, Jupiter and the other planets would never permit human life to survive, but we still believe that someday in the future we need to colonize the other planets. This was the theme of a science fiction story written by a woman in 1865 published in LET'S HEAR IT. Mohl wrote about a man going to sleep and waking 500 years in the future with space travel. In her story all Africans had been sent to Mars to raise cotton for us earth dwellers. We have had this belief for many years.
I do believe in creatures from outer space that will change our planet. But it will be the second coming of Christ that will make the changes.