It seems that NASA put a hidden message on the parachute that landed its new rover on the planet Mars. And it is probably not the only one.
The parachute that helped NASA's Perseverance rover land on Mars last week did not have a seemingly random color pattern, such as we saw the video of the landing. There was more to this story: NASA officials said it contained a hidden message written in binary computer code.
At first, when we heard the story of the hidden message, we smiled thinking it was another fantasy of the conspiracy theorists. And yet, the story was confirmed by NASA officials on Twitter. And not only that. As soon as the internet users found out, they managed to break the message within a few hours.
The red and white pattern on the Perseverance parachute read "Dare Mighty Things" in concentric rings. The motto is the motto of the Perseverance team and is also mounted on the walls of Mission Control at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Southern California.
The outer ring of the parachute seems to have one more message. Write the coordinates for the JPL: 34 ° 11'58 "N 118 ° 10'31" W.
Allen Chen, the team leader for the Perseverance entry, descent and landing,confirmed the message late Monday night on Twitter.
The message "Dare Mighty Things" was not the only thing the new rover brought to Mars. A magnification of one of the thousands of images released by NASA from rover this week shows a tiny family portrait of past rovers that went to Mars, as well as the Ingenuity helicopter that accompanied Perseverance to the red planet.
NASA has included hidden messages in its rover in the past. The Curiosity rover, which landed on the Red Planet in 2012, had small holes dotted in the hollow aluminum wheels. These holes formed the "JPL" in Morse code. So when Curiosity rolled its wheels on the surface, the "JPL" was coded Morse code on Mars (although it was deleted shortly after the wind).
Chen said the engineers may have placed more hidden messages on the rover, in addition to the "Dare Mighty Things" code on the parachute. "People can't resist making a small personal touch to their work," Chen said. "But the vast majority of them will never be known - even by me."