It is perhaps NASA's most ambitious effort to answer the question: are we alone in the universe? The Perseverance rover launched successfully from Cape Canaveral on June 2020, and by the end of February 2021, it is expected to join a small fleet of Martian landers and rovers. Its mission? Understanding if there is or ever was life on our neighbouring planet. What makes the rover more special than its peers? The ground-breaking technology it carries. Neel V. Patel, from MIT Technology Review, reports.