My grandma's cousin was a nun and also a research biologist. The Catholic church paid for her to get a PhD and then gave her a tenure-track position in a Catholic university as soon as she finished. She discovered the existence of pheromones in ticks and invented something called the pheromones petri plate method.
At a time when most women were housewives, she was active on panles with World Health Organisation. She got to travel the world.
I used to wonder about her motivations. She really, truly and deeply believed in God and was very deeply religious. When she died, the other nuns seemed convinced that she was a saint.
A lot of people assert that those who have religious faith are stupid or don't understand science, but that clearly wasn't the case for her. She didn't have to pick between intellectual reason and faith.
We could also expend a lot of energy inventing technologies that are less likely to screw up the earth. Renewable energy, for example.
Colonising another planet is a dream. We'd do better to fix this one.
Even if it did somehow work, a trip through space and starting out on another planet would create a large selection bias. Those who got off Earth wouldn't be properly human for very long.
All life evolves by the differential survival of replicating entities. -- Dawkins