Since the late 1950s, scientists in the U.S. searching for intelligence elsewhere in the universe have asked “Are we alone?” Yet in recent decades, exoplanetary astronomers and astrobiologists have broadened that question to “Where else is life?” Their sought-after answers to both questions—an encounter with intelligent alien or the detection of lively signs of Earthlike biology—have yet to surface for these scientists. This research seeks to illuminate how communities of astronomers, working within research universities and institutes of secular scientific inquiry in the United States, have constructed experimental systems around these missing objects since the Cold War.