In September, the Planetary Society held a tribute to Ray Bradbury. Founder Louis Friedman talked about Bradbury's siginificance to real-life planetary exploration. Bradbury's contribution to this field was not scientific or technical - he was no scientist, after all. What Bradbury DID bring was an immense enthusiasm on the key question of why our species is driven to explore.
Whether you agree with Bradbury or not, there is no doubt that he was a prominent poetic voice, particularly when the American space programme went into contraction post-Apollo.
Here is Louis Friedman's talk. It includes a lot of archive photos of Ray at JPL (and elsewhere), some of which I had never seen before.