A puzzle lover in NASA’s space team encoded a secret message on the huge parachute used by the Perseverance rover to land on Mars.
Ian Clark, a system engineer, used a binary code to spell out ‘Dare Mighty Things’ in the orange and white strips of the 70-foot (21-metre) parachute. He also mentioned the GPS coordinates for the mission’s headquarters at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
He used the phrase ‘Dare Mighty Things’ as it was a line made famous by President Theodore Roosevelt, and adorns the walls of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The GPS coordinates which is 10 feet (3 metres) from the entrance to JPL’s visitor centre.
Clark said that only six people knew about the encoded message before Thursday’s landing.
He was quite bugged out by the fact that space fans figured it out in a couple of hours.
“Next time, he noted, I’ll have to be a little bit more creative,” Clark said.
However, this seems to be only one out of many secret messages that NASA will give out for space fans to decipher. Deputy project manager Matt Wallace promises that more such hidden ‘ Easter eggs’ will be visible once Perseverance’s 7-foot (2-metre) arm is deployed in a few days and starts photographing under the vehicle, and again when the rover is driving in a couple of weeks.
“Postcards from a Red Planet: Here’s where to see the latest views from @NASAPersevere throughout the mission: https://go.nasa.gov/3e8QpSt as well the latest raw images straight from the rover: https://go.nasa.gov/3soJ2gx #CountdownToMars,” NASA Mars tweeted.
Postcards from a Red Planet: Here’s where to see the latest views from @NASAPersevere throughout the mission: https://t.co/0ZlZY87an2 as well the latest raw images straight from the rover: https://t.co/HiDNDyQEtp #CountdownToMars pic.twitter.com/9X7ok4BhhO
— NASA Mars (@NASAMars) February 22, 2021
NASA has made history after it successfully landed its Perseverance rover on the surface of Red Planet Mars on Friday.
The six-wheeled vehicle will now spend at least the next two years drilling into the local rocks, looking for evidence of past life.