In April, NASA expanded the search for life on other planets with the launch of its exoplanet survey satellite, TESS. From War of the Worlds and Arrival to SETI and Stephen Hawking, both pop culture and scientists feed the expectation that the discovery of extraterrestrial life will be a sudden event. History teaches us the opposite. Even with TESS, we shouldn't expect a stunning discovery of extraterrestrial life anytime soon. In fact, we shouldn't expect it at all.