NASA’s Mars Rover parachute has a hidden message

A parachute that helped NASA’s persistence rover land on Mars last week, the video clip of the rover’s landing bothered to reveal a seemingly random pattern of colors. But there was something else in the story: NASA officials later said that it contained a hidden message written in binary computer code.

Internet experts cracked the message within hours. The red and white pattern engraved “Dare Mighty Things” in concentric rings. The adage persistence is the team’s motto, and it is also installed on the walls of mission control at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the mission team’s Southern California headquarters.

The outer ring of the parachute appears to translate into coordinates for JPL: 34 ° 11’58 “N 118 ° 10’31” H.

Alan Chen, the landing lead to penetration, descent, and perseverance, dared the public to locate the message during a press conference on Monday. “In addition to enabling incredible science, we hope that our efforts in our engineering can inspire others,” he said.

“Sometimes we leave a message in our work for others to find that purpose, so we invite all of you to give it a shot and show us your work.”

Perseverance’s chief engineer Adam Steltzner confirmed the message on Twitter late Monday.

The message “Dare Mighty Things” was not the only bizarre persistence brought to Mars. Zoom in on one of Several thousand images Released from the rover this week, NASA has shown a small family portrait of the previous Mars rovers, the Perseverance, and the Ingenuity helicopter, which was on Mars with the Perseverance.

The picture taken by the rover’s onboard left navigation camera (Navcam) has a family portrait seen on the fixture.
Photo: NASA / JPL | Edited by Joey Roulette / The Reporter Door

NASA has in the past included hidden messages on its rovers. The Curiosity rover, which landed on the Red Planet in 2012, had small holes dug into its hollow aluminum wheels so that Mars pebbles could be caught inside to escape.

They read “JPL” in the hole Morse code. So when Curiosity rolled the surface, the “JPL” was sealed in Morse code on Mortian soil (although it was wiped out shortly by Martian wind).

Chen told The Reporter Door That persistence engineers can put more hidden messages on the rover beyond the “Dare Mighty Things” code in their parachutes.

“People can’t resist putting a little personal touch into their work,” Chen said. “But most of these will never be known – even by me.”

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