•  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

It seems like a common task to land a rover on Mars using a parachute. NASA did so with its Perseverance rover and landed it successfully on Mars last week. But, The Verge in the original article states that NASA hid some Easter Egg in the parachute color pattern: NASA officials later said it contained a hidden message written in binary computer code.

It took awhile for the internet experts to solve the puzzle within hours. The red and white pattern spelled out “Dare Mighty Things” in concentric rings. The saying is the Perseverance team’s motto, and it is also emblazoned on the walls of Mission Control at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the mission team’s Southern California headquarters.

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

Allen Chen, the entry, descent, and landing lead for Perseverance, dared the public to figure the message out during a press conference on Monday. “In addition to enabling incredible science, we hope our efforts in our engineering can inspire others,” he said.

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

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

The parachute hidden message was not the only puzzle on the board of Perseverance. If you zoom a picture of the rover’s body, choose any photo from the thousand existing, you’ll mention portraits of past Mars rovers.

Family portrait on Perseverance
A family portrait is seen on Perseverance in this photo. Image credit: NASA / JPL | Edit by Joey Roulette / The Verge

NASA has included hidden messages on its rovers in the past. The Curiosity rover, which landed on the Red Planet in 2012, had tiny holes dotted in its hollow aluminum wheels to allow Mars pebbles caught inside to escape.

Those holes read “JPL” in Morse code. So when Curiosity roved the surface, “JPL” was stamped in Morse code on the Martian soil (though it was erased shortly after by the Martian wind).

Chen told The Verge that Perseverance engineers might have put more hidden messages on the rover beyond the “Dare Mighty Things” code in its parachute.

“People can’t resist putting a little personal touch in their work,” Chen said. “But the vast majority of these will never be known — even by me.”

1
0