"It’s possible that the idea of traveling to outer space is even more fantastical when, these days, so few of us leave our neighborhoods, but truly watching the zenith of the Perseverance mission had all the ingredients of must-see TV," says Angela Watercutter. "For one, there was a lot of anticipation. The Atlas V rocket transporting NASA’s latest Mars rover launched from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center in July and has spent the past six months en route to the Red Planet. It also had cool gadgets: Perseverance is a nuclear-powered 2,300-pound rover tasked with searching the martian landscape for signs of ancient microbial life. Put another way, it’s an “alien-hunting self-driving car,” and for the hour-plus that NASA teased its descent on its livestream, it did so using interviews with super-enthusiastic (read: delightfully nerdy) scientists and animations that looked like something out of The Expanse. So sci-fi!"