The Hidden Message in the Parachute of NASA’s Mars Rover

Joey Roulette, writing for The Verge:

The parachute that helped NASA’s Perseverance rover land on Mars last week unfurled to reveal a seemingly random pattern of colors in video clips of the rover’s landing. But there was more to the story: NASA officials later said it contained a hidden message written in binary computer code.

Internet sleuths cracked the message within hours. The red and white pattern spelled out “Dare Mighty Things” in concentric rings. The saying is the Perseverance team’s motto, and it is also emblazoned on the walls of Mission Control at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the mission team’s Southern California headquarters.

The parachute’s outer ring appears to translate to coordinates for JPL: 34°11′58″ N 118°10′31″ W.

Tonya Fish posted a handy guide on Twitter (also available as a PDF) explaining how the code works. (Via Kottke.)

Seems sad to me that NASA and JPL are willing to have some fun with clever Easter eggs with a Mars rover, yet Apple, of all companies, no longer does any Easter eggs at all. Computers are supposed to be fun.

Wednesday, 24 February 2021