Recently, NASA managed to bring the most advanced rover in history to Mars. But they also had the luxury of playing with the public, who paid attention to the landing. How? With the message hidden in the parachute of perseverance. It took six hours for people on the internet to find out.
On the February 22nd broadcast, NASA revealed the first video the rover recorded during its descent. Allen Chen, the mission’s land leader, announced that the parachute pattern contained a hidden message. And he urged the public to find out.
The red and white pattern of the rings hid the message Dare to do powerful things. It translates as: “Dare to do mighty things.” That phrase is the motto for the endurance team in Pasadena, California. The message also contained geographic coordinates. They correspond to the offices in which they work: 34 ° 11’58 «N 118 ° 10’31» W.
The user Abela_Paf published a series of messages on his Twitter account in which he revealed the sentence. It also explains how he cracked it with the binary code. He gave a detailed explanation of how he discovered the secret, which was no easy task. To understand a little better, scientist Emily Calandrelli made a fun video on TikTok. He developed the steps they had taken to reveal the hidden message.
Science journalist Corey S. Powell compared it with the tradition of the old craftsmen who left secret traces in their creations. He also pointed out another interesting curiosity about NASA vehicles on the surface of Mars. Perseverance’s predecessor, the Curiosity rover, kept typing “JPL” in Morse code as it rolled over Mars.
Hours later, Adam Steltzner, chief engineer at Perseverance, confirmed the answer through his Twitter account.
The message hidden in the Parachute of Perseverance is not the first to be used by NASA. It won’t be the last either.