Like many other science fiction fans, I have been eagerly awaiting alien contact all my life. It actually doesn’t look like it’s going to happen any time soon. The existence of intelligent life on other planets seems more and more inevitable. We’re discovering new planets like crazy, we know that Earth size is not an uncommon size, and that water is plentiful throughout the universe. But, if they’re out there, they are apparently not in any hurry to make contact.
We’ll keep looking, of course. We’ve only begun to explore space, and all we know about most of the exoplanets we’ve discovered is that they exist. A hundred years from now, if we haven’t discovered intelligent life on other planets, scientists will still say “We’ve only explored a tiny portion of the universe,” and it will still be true, the universe is that vast.
But, in a way, it is not depressing at all to think we might be alone in the universe. Think about it. It means that all the billions of stars in our own galaxy, all the trillions and trillions of stars in all the galaxies, all the uncountable megagazillions of planets orbiting those stars and moons orbiting those planets, and all the rocks and comets and asteroids and weird unexplainable objects lying between the solar systems, belong to us.
The meek may well inherit the Earth. The bolder spirits will head out and colonize the universe. Because it’s ours. Until we meet somebody who tells us different.