NASA hid a secret message on the parachute that landed Endurance rover down on the surface of Mars last week.
Internet fraudsters claim to have “hacked a code” hidden in images from last week’s Mars rover landing. Color samples of the parachute used to land appear to have been secretly taken with the phrase “Dare Huge Things.” This motto was used by the endurance team at NASA’s Jet Engine Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, which serves as mission control for the Endurance rover mission. The message also includes the geographical coordinates of the JPL: 34 ° 11’58 “N 118 ° 10’31” W.
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“dare to do great things”! Nice work! @NASA @NASAPersevere pic.twitter.com/Di1hkFQApdFebruary 22, 2021
At a briefing on Monday (February 22), NASA unveiled the first video made by Perseverance when it descended and landed on the Martian surface on February 18. Viewers may have noticed a separate red and white pattern on the parachute. Allen Chen, the mission’s entry, landing, and landing leader, confirmed in the briefing that there was a hidden message and dared to decrypt the public.
“In addition to enabling incredible science, we hope that our efforts in our engineering work can inspire others,” Chen said in a briefing. “Sometimes we leave messages in our work for others to find for this purpose, so we ask everyone to give us a picture and show their work.”
The rover may be hiding other secret messages on the parachute in addition to the team motto Chen told The Verge. “People can’t resist making a little personal connection in the course of their work … But I’ll never know the vast majority of these – not even me,” he said.
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So how does such a seemingly normal parachute hide such a message? Well, using different shapes and patterns of parachute fabric to represent different numbers, the NASA team was able to display the messages in binary computer code, according to Verge.
Depending on the shape and location of the red and white swatches circulating around the center of the parachute, the segments represent different numbers that can be translated through binary code. It’s unbelievable that people hacked the code on the internet a few hours after NASA released a video showing the rover’s landing.
“The internet seems to have cracked the code in about 6 hours! Oh, is there something on the internet that you can’t do?” NASA Chief Engineer of Perseverance, Adam Steltzner tweeted about the impressive code cracking.
The internet seems to have cracked the code in about 6 hours! Oh internet, is there something you can’t do? For those who just want to know: # Mars2020 #CountdownToMars pic.twitter.com/yTJCEnbuLYFebruary 23, 2021
This is not the first time JPL engineers have stolen a secret message to another planet.
Tiny holes dotted the hollow aluminum wheels of the agency’s Curiosity rover, which landed on Mars in 2012 and continues to explore the Red Planet to this day. These holes served an important purpose by allowing Martian gravel to pass through instead of getting stuck in the wheels of the vehicle, but the holes also articulated a secret message: “JPL” in Morse code. So when the rover walks around the surface of Mars, it inserts the word “JPL” into the Martian terrain in the Morse code.
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