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Space & Astronomy

Hidden message found on Mars parachute

By T.K. Randall
February 24, 2021 · Comment icon 19 comments

Can you see the hidden message ? Image Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech
The parachute used by the Mars Perseverance rover has been found to contain a clever hidden message.
When footage was released this week showing NASA's latest rover descending towards the Martian surface, most people's attention was drawn to the spectacular red-tinged landscape far below.

Some eagle-eyed space fans however managed to spot something altogether unexpected - a hidden message in the red and white pattern of the rover's parachute.

While at a glance it might not seem like anything meaningful, the pattern actually spells out three words in binary code, with the red sections being 1's, the white sections being 0's and each of the three rows representing a different word.

If you convert all the patterns into 1's and 0's and translate it all into computer ASCII code, you will end up with the message 'dare mighty things.'
This just happens to be the motto used by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and was taken from a speech given by Theodore Roosevelt in 1899:

"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat."

As an extra little bonus, the additional pattern on the outside edge of the parachute can be similarly translated into the precise GPS co-ordinates of JPL's visitor center.

"Sometimes we leave messages in our work for others to find," said a NASA representative.

"So we invite you all to give it a shot and show your work."

Source: The Guardian | Comments (19)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #10 Posted by acute 3 years ago
Do you think they spent millions of dollars inventing this parachute... ...and then, they decided to spend just a little bit more money on an attractive (but meaningless) design?
Comment icon #11 Posted by Buzz_Light_Year 3 years ago
Here is the reddit link in the Guardian article that explains how they came to their conclusion.  
Comment icon #12 Posted by pallidin 3 years ago
It's in Martian language, silly Earthling. 
Comment icon #13 Posted by Peter B 3 years ago
Yeah, it's real! This article explains how the code worked, and shows the parachute decoded.
Comment icon #14 Posted by Davros of Skaro 3 years ago
Only Russian collusion is ok even after 4 years of it.
Comment icon #15 Posted by Seti42 3 years ago
The message wasn't hidden, NASA told everyone about it, and what it meant. Easter egg, maybe...'hidden message'? That's a bit melodramatic.
Comment icon #16 Posted by Robotic Jew 3 years ago
Let what go?
Comment icon #17 Posted by Desertrat56 3 years ago
So no nerd figured it out, NASA explained it.   There is no way someone looking at that picture could have deciphered it, even with prior knowledge that it was there.  
Comment icon #18 Posted by Earl.Of.Trumps 3 years ago
Wow, you are onto it, DR. A little self promotion gets you a bigger audience and bigger budget. ha HA Look at the free publicity they got from this, and now, people will be "looking for hidden messages" in everything NASA does. BRILLIANT!! 
Comment icon #19 Posted by Desertrat56 3 years ago
I spent some time translating the ascii codes in to binary.   I am a nerd.   

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