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There’s a Secret Message Coded Into Percy’s Parachute. But It’s Not The Only One

When NASA’s Perseverance rover made its daring descent to the crimson planet, you could have seen that its parachute bore an uncommon association of crimson and white chevrons.

That sample, it seems, was not random in any respect, however a hidden code. Within simply six hours, web sleuths had cracked it, revealing a fantastically uplifting message: “Dare Mighty Things”.

The phrase has been used because the motto by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for years, taken from a speech delivered by American president Theodore Roosevelt in 1899:

“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”

 

The hidden message was first talked about within the touchdown livestream by NASA techniques engineer Allen Chen, who commented, “In addition to enabling incredible science, we hope our efforts and our engineering can inspire others. Sometimes we leave messages in our work for others to find for that purpose. So we invite you all to give it a shot and show your work.”

The first answer posted on-line appears to have been by IT scholar Abela Paf on Twitter. The message, he stated, had been decoded by him and his father, who recognized that the chevrons have been organized in concentric rings that encoded a 10-bit sample.

“Each binary number encodes a position in the alphabet, starting at 1,” he explained. “For the word ‘mighty’, we just have to start counting 40 bits later and it would be correct.”

If the crimson sections are 1s and the white sections are 0s, the rings will be damaged down into blocks that characterize numbers. Then you add the quantity 64. So the primary letter within the code is 0000000100, which supplies you the quantity 4. Add 64 to get 68 – the ASCII code for the capital letter D.

 

That explains the internal three rings. The outer ring, however, shows letters and numbers: 34 11 58 N 118 10 31 W. These, posted to reddit by consumer tend0g, are the geographic coordinates for JPL – 34°11’58” N 118°10’31” W.

Chief Perseverance engineer Adam Steltzner of NASA JPL confirmed the solution.

That’s not Perseverance’s solely secret message, although.

The rays of the Sun on the placard containing a chip bearing names and messages from Earthlings are in Morse code, spelling out the phrase “Explore As One”. And tucked away on a plate on its chassis is a family portrait of all NASA’s Mars rovers: Sojourner, Spirit, Opportunity, Curiosity, Perseverance and Ingenuity.

Curiosity is not with out secrets and techniques, both. A sample within the rover’s wheels can also be Morse code, spelling out JPL. Indeed, sending coded messages to house on our exploration vessels is one thing of a custom.

As Allen Chen famous to The Verge, Perseverance may very well be riddled with many extra secrets and techniques.

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

 

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