I have been watching Universe on the History Channel, the subject being the planets and moons of our solar system.
Many years ago I read a story about a research ship that had landed on the surface of Jupiter. They described the unfriendly Jovian environment and how glad they would be to get off of the godforsaken place.
They had a process where they could transfer the consciousness of a human into a Jovian life form (something like an Earth Canine) they had done this with three successive volunteers and none had returned. They were all presumed dead. After tweaking their machine they sent a final volunteer. The rest of the story was from his viewpoint.
After being released on the planet, he described the beauty and exhilaration he felt and long story short the reason no one had returned was that they had been unwilling to give up that experience and preferred to live out their lives on Jupiter. Our hero was more devoted to science and did return to give his report. Leaving Jupiter he was filled with regret that he had not remained in his Jovian host and he realized he would never enjoy his life as a human as much in the future.
In my memory it was a beautiful and well told story that by the standards of that time was fairly hard scifi.
There were other stories in that time frame that told of a hot and steamy jungle Venus filled with deadly creatures that had to be dealt with before colonization.
With today’s knowledge these stories are ridiculous. They could all be retold in an interstellar environment but it is not the same. As far as we still are from manned missions to our systems planets and moons, they are still like friendly neighbors compared to the stars.
Scientific truth is always better than ignorance but I can still be wistful about the jungles of Venus and a Jupiter where animals live on the surface