Wanting up on the parachute above the descent stage that carried the Perseverance rover to the floor of Mars. The white and orange striped patterns contained a secret hidden message. Are you able to decode it? Picture by way of NASA/ JPL-Caltech/ Phys.org.
The world watched with pleasure as NASA’s Perseverance rover touched down safely on Mars on February 18, 2021. Regardless of an enormous potential for catastrophe through the seven minutes of terror that each Mars rover requires to plummet via Mars’ ambiance and safely land, all the things labored as deliberate for Perseverance, and landing was an enormous success. One of the crucial unbelievable components of the touchdown – all captured on video – was when the massive parachute, 70 toes (21 meters) in diameter, deployed above the descent stage and billowed out into form. However do you know that the orange and white patterns on the within of the parachute – stunningly clear through the touchdown, due to Perseverance’s high-resolution cameras – weren’t simply random? There was a secret message encoded into the underside of the parachute!
It’s true. The message was the work of Ian Clark, a programs engineer for the Perseverance mission. He used a easy binary code to spell out the phrase Dare Mighty Issues – made well-known by President Theodore Roosevelt – among the many coloured strips. In a remark concerning the hidden message, he mentioned merely that it was:
See a cool video: Sights and sounds from Perseverance on Mars
The message decoded. The binary association spells out “Dare Mighty Issues” and likewise contains the GPS coordinates for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California. Picture by way of NASA/ JPL-Caltech/ Phys.org.
The code additionally included the GPS coordinates for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California. The precise spot is 10 toes (3 meters) from the doorway to JPL’s customer heart.
How did Clark give you this concept?
He considered it a few years in the past, after engineers for the mission needed to incorporate some type of sample within the material of the parachute in order that they might inform which method it was oriented through the descent to the floor. He not solely did that, however included a enjoyable puzzle into the design as nicely.
The mission crew teased throughout a press briefing that there was one thing hidden within the sample after the pictures began coming again and the general public noticed the parachute stretched out above the respectable stage for the primary time. Might anyone determine it out?
Ian Clark, programs engineer for the Perseverance mission, who created the key message encoded into the rover’s parachute. Picture by way of NASA/ JPL-Caltech/ SpaceWatch.World.
It didn’t take lengthy for the message to be decoded by web sleuths, only a matter of hours. Clark responded by saying that subsequent time:
… I’ll should be just a little bit extra artistic.
Clark commented that he was:
Attempting to give you a method of encoding it however not making it too apparent.
Inserting hidden messages for individuals to resolve is an effective way for the mission to additional have interaction public curiosity. NASA’s earlier Mars rover, Curiosity, which continues to be very a lot energetic, additionally had a phrase in Morse code – JPL – included into the sample of holes within the rover’s wheels. The ensuing wheel tracks would then additionally present the coded sample as they crossed the sandy terrain. Cool!
This additionally wasn’t the one “Easter egg” added to Perseverance. The rover additionally has a plaque on it depicting all 5 of NASA’s rovers which have gone to Mars to this point, in sequence: Sojourner, Alternative, Spirit, Curiosity and Perseverance. The small Ingenuity helicopter can also be included, subsequent to Perseverance.
The holes within the wheels of the Curiosity rover spell out JPL in Morse code. Picture by way of NASA/ JPL/ Wikimedia Commons.
Matt Wallace, deputy venture supervisor for Perseverance, additionally hinted that there are extra that shall be seen as soon as the rover robotic arm is deployed and takes photographs of the underside of the rover:
Undoubtedly, positively ought to hold a great lookout.
Engineers are actually busy testing all of the programs on the rover earlier than it truly begins transferring, to ensure all the things is working correctly. However quickly, it is going to begin roving via the traditional lakebed and delta, starting its seek for proof of historic microbial life. Ingenuity may even try the first-ever powered flight within the Martian ambiance. Thrilling instances forward!
Backside line: The striped sample on the parachute utilized by the Perseverance rover to land on Mars contained a hidden message.
By way of Phys.org
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