Ever since the last NASA space shuttle mission touched down in Florida on July 21, there has been a spirited debate in articles and blogs across the Internet over the future of humans in space. Congress has directed NASA to build a super-rocket with the brawny power to hurtle astronauts out of Earth orbit and onto interplanetary destinations. The largely vague justifications for "boldly going" there emphasize the uniquely American notion of conquering the frontier, "living in space," and planetary colonization as our manifest destiny. SCIENCE CHANNEL: Life On Mars? Conversely,sacs louis vuitton failure to find the humblest of microbes on other worlds implies that there is something extraordinarily unique about the evolution of Earth that allowed for the emergence of self-replicating matter. Yes, we have robots exploring the planets for traces of life as we know it, telescopes inventorying planets circling other stars, and SETI astronomers listening for the whispers of an intelligent signal beamed in out direction from across the galaxy. NEWS: Martian Life's Last Stand in the Trenches? But I'd like to offer a goal that is more tangible and far overarching. On many different levels, space pioneers could focus on answering, arguably, the most profound question every asked by humans: are we alone in the universe? The answer to this question is equally profound either way it falls. If we find life elsewhere in the solar system, then life is unequivocally a condition of the universe. Find life once it's a miracle, twice, it's a statistic.