I saw this recently – Mars Rover’s Giant Parachute Carried Secret Message – NBC10 Boston – https://www.nbcboston.com/news/national-international/mars-rovers-giant-parachute-carried-secret-message/2311178/. It’s a longer article, but here’s enough to give you some basic information. Includes a video clip. Thought this was a good Weirdness Wednesday post.
By Marcia Dunn • Published February 23, 2021
The huge parachute used by NASA’s Perseverance rover to land on Mars contained a secret message, thanks to a puzzle lover on the spacecraft team.
Systems engineer Ian Clark used a binary code to spell out “Dare Mighty Things” in the orange and white strips of the 70-foot (21-meter) parachute. He also included the GPS coordinates for the mission’s headquarters at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
Only about six people knew about the encoded message before Thursday’s landing, according to Clark. They waited until the parachute images came back before putting out a teaser during a televised news conference Monday.
It took just a few hours for space fans to figure it out, Clark said. Next time, he noted, “I’ll have to be a little bit more creative.”
“Dare Mighty Things” — a line from President Theodore Roosevelt — is a mantra at JPL and adorns many of the center’s walls. The trick was “trying to come up with a way of encoding it but not making it too obvious,” Clark said.
Other Weirdness Wednesdays posts: https://upsdownsfamilyhistory.wordpress.com/tag/Weirdness-Wednesdays/