Internet suites received a secret message hidden in a parachute that helped Perseverance Rover on Tuesday last week helped hold your horses if you’re raising suspicious eyebrows right now. NASA has a precedent for this and the message is a well-known goal of NASA. No, it is not “we come in peace” Various Reddit and Twitter users have announced the discovery of the phrase “brave strong things” encoded in red and white pattern on the parachute.
According to the Guardian, during a live stream discussing the landing last week a NASA commentator said, “Sometimes we leave messages in our work to find others. Therefore, we invite you all to give it a shot and show your work. Therefore, they worked. Initially people seemed to be deliberately looking at parachute patterns, because it is not symmetry. On closer inspection, red represents 1 and white 0, and the 3 focal circles seen in the pattern appear to spell out the three words “dare strong things.”
People have done this in a number of ways but the easiest is to divide these 1’s and 0’s into 10 groups and add 64 to get the ASCII code to the computer. It is a standard data transmission code used to represent text data such as letters, numbers and punctuation used on personal computers – in this case a letter. For example, seven white stripes, one red stripe, two can be read as White 0000000100, adding 4 to 64 of 4 gives you 68, the ASCII code for D, the beginning of “courage”.
The phrase has been used a motto by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), which operates the Mars Rover mission, and the facility is equipped with a mission control room wall. It also used in the promotional video for Curiosity Rover’s launch to Mars in 2011. In fact, it is the study, descent, and landing system JPL systems engineer Allen Chen described in the clip above as the perseverance, as well as the mission work. Here is the rover – or its Twitter version – announced on February 19, the day after it landed on Mars.
Adding fuel to the search is the parachute’s final outer ring pattern, online detectives thought to represent 34°11’58.0″N 118°10’31.0″W, the geographical coordinates for the JPL in La Cañada Flintridge, California. Well, congratulations, internet sleuths, you are right. Adam Steltnzer, the chief engineer, confirmed the Easter egg for the firmness here.
This is not the first time NASA has snatched a message or a memorabilia piece with a rover. Metal from the wreckage of the Twin Towers landed on Mars in 9/11, and the Spirit carried a commemorative plaque to seven crew members of the space shuttle Columbia, who crashed and died while returning to Earth in 2003. Continuing the journey of perseverance among other “hidden gems” is a compliment to the KOID epidemic that has spread worldwide. The memorial plaque bears the symbol of Asclepius’ rod – the ancient Greek symbol of healing and medicine – commemorating the effects of the virus may have surpassed the mission and “to pay tribute to the perseverance of healthcare workers around the world.”