From colors to Morse code, secret messages appear as Mars rover gets to work
NSA engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory are known to hide Easter eggs, or hidden messages, in plain sight.Posted — Updated
He also described how patterns in the contrasting fabric panels are used to determine the parachute's orientation and in tracking how different portions of the parachute inflate.
"In addition to enabling incredible science, we hope our efforts and our engineering can inspire others. Sometimes we leave messages in our work for others to find for that purpose. So we invite you all to give it a shot, and show your work." Chen added.
Within hours, NASA fans had decoded the message.
Hidden in the 320 red and white fabric panels is the message "DARE MIGHTY THINGS" along with the Earthly coordinates of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).
Letters and numbers are binary encoded in ten panel groups with red representing 1 and white representing 0. Each character is conveniently separated by 3 white panels and solid red ten panel sections indicate stops.
The phrase, which JPL has painted on its walls and tagged its videos with for several years, originates from a 1899 speech by Theodore Roosevelt where he said “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 Easter eggs on Mars
JPL engineers are known to hide Easter eggs, or hidden messages, in plain sight.
The calibration target used aboard the InSight Mars lander provides a variety of colors and shapes to help calibrate the lander's cameras. It also shows off international flags representing the agencies, institutions and participating scientists of the mission. JPL was hidden, this time in Braille along the edges of the target.
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