In its mission to "to seek out new life", the USS Enterprise has found a rich biological diversity in its universe, with over 235 intelligent humanoid species alone encountered - ranging from the Aaamazzarites to the Zibalians. In addition, many other thousands of other lifeforms are weaved into the storylines - plants, animals, bacteria, fungi, algae, microbes, metallic lifeforms, silicon-based lifeform, xenon-based lifeform, artificial lifeforms and even non-corporeal species composed of various forms of coherent gas or energy. But is there really any life at all beyond our planet Earth?

In real-world science, astrobiology is the study of life in space, combining aspects of astronomy, biology and geology It is focused primarily on the study of the origin, distribution and evolution of life. Astrobiology is an emerging field and we have only one example of a planet with life (the Earth). Most of the work has therefore been speculative and based on current understanding of physics, (bio-)chemistry, and biology.