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Science

There’s a hidden message in the parachute of NASA’s Mars rover – The Verge

The parachute that helped NASA’s Perseverance rover land on Mars final week unfurled to disclose a seemingly random sample of colours in video clips of the rover’s touchdown. However there was extra to the story: NASA officers later stated it contained a hidden message written in binary laptop code.

Web sleuths cracked the message inside hours. The crimson and white sample spelled out “Dare Mighty Issues” in concentric rings. The saying is the Perseverance workforce’s motto, and it’s also emblazoned on the partitions of Mission Management at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the mission workforce’s Southern California headquarters.

The parachute’s outer ring seems to translate to coordinates for JPL: 34°11’58” N 118°10’31” W.

Allen Chen, the entry, descent, and touchdown lead for Perseverance, dared the general public to determine the message out throughout a press convention on Monday. “Along with enabling unbelievable science, we hope our efforts in our engineering can encourage others,” he stated.

“Typically we go away messages in our work for others to search out for that goal, so we invite you all to provide it shot and present your work.”

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

The “Dare Mighty Issues” message wasn’t the one quirk Perseverance delivered to Mars. Zooming in on one of many several thousand images NASA launched from the rover this week reveals a tiny household portrait of previous Mars rovers, Perseverance, and the Ingenuity helicopter, which accompanied Perseverance to Mars.

A household portrait is seen on Perseverance on this photograph taken by the rover’s onboard Left Navigation Digicam (Navcam).
Photograph: NASA / JPL | Edit by Joey Roulette / The Verge

NASA has included hidden messages on its rovers previously. The Curiosity rover, which landed on the Purple Planet in 2012, had tiny holes dotted in its hole aluminum wheels to permit Mars pebbles caught inside to flee.

These holes learn “JPL” in Morse code. So when Curiosity roved the floor, “JPL” was stamped in Morse code on the Martian soil (although it was erased shortly after by the Martian wind).

Chen informed The Verge that Perseverance engineers may need put extra hidden messages on the rover past the “Dare Mighty Issues” code in its parachute.

“Individuals can’t resist placing a bit private contact of their work,” Chen stated. “However the overwhelming majority of those won’t ever be identified — even by me.”

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