Did you know that NASA will be landing a new lander on Mars in about a month?
Phoenix will land near Mars' north pole, where there's water, where there might be life. Unlike the rover landings, the spacecraft will descend via thrusters and not via encasement in a big bouncing balloon. Mars is so far away (10 light-minutes) that is must all be automated.
It'd be great to find microscopic life there. Unfortunately, I don't think even that would make much difference to the average person on Earth, or slack their quest for Big Gulps and McMansions.