I like the way that Dennis Overbye qualifies the work done by the Kepler planet searching satellite:
These are science-fiction times. Kepler is only the first step in a process that experts agree will take decades. Both NASA and the European Space Agency have laid plans for a multidecade quest — employing ever more sophisticated and expensive spacecraft — for planets and life beyond Earth. (Overbye par. 6)
I believe that we can call all times “science-fiction times,” because the cutting edge of science and technology is estranging to the lay person in the here-and-now.
On a personal note, I hope that the science fictional search for other planets encourages a real human space faring developments. I tend to agree with Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawking who advocated for colonization of other planets in order to safeguard the longterm survival of humanity.
via Kepler Observatory Seeks More Earths and Other Beings – NYTimes.com.