Decoding the Potential Hidden Code in the Mars Rover Parachute
The internet is on fire with a positive conspiracy theory. Is there a hidden message on the Mars Perseverance Rover that hurdled through space and landed on Mars?
Many space-themed Facebook groups, and users on Reddit, claim to have cracked the code. Both platforms claim that the phrase “Dare mighty things” is hidden on the parachutes. This is a motto by Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The message is hidden using a pattern representing letters as binary computer code.
The Guardian explains how to decode the picture:
Each of the concentric rings in the parachute’s pattern represents one of the words. The zeroes and ones need to be split up into chunks of 10 characters, and from that, adding 64 gives you the computer ASCII code representing a letter. For example, seven white stripes, a red stripe and then two more white stripes represents 0000000100, the binary for four. Adding 64 to that gives 68, the ASCII code for the letter D."
This NASA video shows the Parachute opening up and revealing its code:
The code is also on full display in this series of images:
And on top of it, the numbers add up to the coordinates to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory carried out much of the work on Perseverance.
So where does the phrase come from? It comes from an 1899 speech by Theodore Roosevelt:
“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.”
Other than secret messages, the pattern had a scientific purpose. It allowed mission control to see the angle the parachute has deployed at and whether it has got twisted.
You can follow more on the Mars Perseverance Rover from NASA online here.
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