CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — The massive parachute utilized by NASA’s Perseverance rover to land on Mars contained a secret message, due to a puzzle lover on the spacecraft crew.
Techniques engineer Ian Clark used a binary code to spell out “Dare Mighty Issues” within the orange and white strips of the 70-foot (21-meter) parachute. He additionally included the GPS coordinates for the mission’s headquarters on the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
Clark, a crossword hobbyist, got here up with the concept two years in the past. Engineers needed an uncommon sample within the nylon cloth to understand how the parachute was oriented throughout descent. Turning it right into a secret message was “tremendous enjoyable,” he stated Tuesday.
Solely about six folks knew in regards to the encoded message earlier than Thursday’s touchdown, in line with Clark. They waited till the parachute photos got here again earlier than placing out a teaser throughout a televised information convention Monday.
It took only a few hours for area followers to determine it out, Clark stated. Subsequent time, he famous, “I’ll should be a bit bit extra artistic.”
“Dare Mighty Issues” — a line from President Theodore Roosevelt — is a mantra at JPL and adorns most of the heart’s partitions. The trick was “attempting to provide you with a means of encoding it however not making it too apparent,” Clark stated.
As for the GPS coordinates, the spot is 10 toes (3 meters) from the doorway to JPL’s customer heart.
One other added contact not broadly recognized till landing: Perseverance bears a plaque depicting all 5 of NASA’s Mars rovers in rising dimension through the years — much like the household automotive decals seen on Earth.
Deputy challenge supervisor Matt Wallace guarantees extra so-called hidden Easter eggs. They need to be seen as soon as Perseverance’s 7-foot (2-meter) arm is deployed in just a few days and begins photographing below the automobile, and once more when the rover is driving in a pair weeks.
“Undoubtedly, undoubtedly ought to maintain an excellent lookout,” he urged.
The Related Press Well being and Science Division receives assist from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Division of Science Schooling. The AP is solely answerable for all content material.
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