The massive parachute utilized by NASA’s Perseverance rover to land on Mars contained a secret message, due to a puzzle lover on the spacecraft crew.
Programs engineer Ian Clark used a binary code to spell out “Dare Mighty Issues” within the orange and white strips of the 70-foot (21-meter) parachute. He additionally included the GPS coordinates for the mission’s headquarters on the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
Clark, a crossword hobbyist, got here up with the concept two years in the past. Engineers needed an uncommon sample within the nylon material to understand how the parachute was oriented throughout descent. Turning it right into a secret message was “tremendous enjoyable,” he stated Tuesday.
Solely about six folks knew in regards to the encoded message earlier than Thursday’s touchdown, in accordance with Clark. They waited till the parachute pictures got here again earlier than placing out a teaser throughout a televised information convention Monday.
It took only a few hours for area followers to determine it out, Clark stated. Subsequent time, he famous, “I am going to need to be slightly bit extra artistic.”
“Dare Mighty Issues”—a line from President Theodore Roosevelt—is a mantra at JPL and adorns lots of the middle’s partitions. The trick was “attempting to give you a method of encoding it however not making it too apparent,” Clark stated.
As for the GPS coordinates, the spot is 10 toes (three meters) from the doorway to JPL’s customer middle.
One other added contact not broadly recognized till landing: Perseverance bears a plaque depicting all 5 of NASA’s Mars rovers in rising measurement through the years—much like the household automobile decals seen on Earth.
Deputy venture supervisor Matt Wallace guarantees extra so-called hidden Easter eggs. They need to be seen as soon as Perseverance’s 7-foot (2-meter) arm is deployed in a number of days and begins photographing underneath the automobile, and once more when the rover is driving in a pair weeks.
“Undoubtedly, positively ought to preserve lookout,” he urged.
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Mars rover’s large parachute carried secret message (2021, February 24)
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