Anyone who watched NASA’s Perseverance rover land on Mars would have seen the huge 21.5-metre-wide parachute deploying as the rover slowly made its way to the Martian surface. To the ordinary viewer, the parachute’s design looked like nothing more than a random pattern of white and red colours. There is, however, a deeper meaning behind the design.
As soon as the first images and videos came through of the landing internet sleuths quickly got to work trying to decipher the message, which they managed to do within six hours. The seemingly random white and red pattern actually spelt out the phrase “Dare Mighty Things” in concentric rings.
Dare Mighty Things has a deeper meaning in itself, as that was the motto used by the team behind the Persevernece rover. It also decorates the walls of NASA’s Mission Control centre at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), according to The Verge.
Take a look at the deciphered code below:
It looks like the internet has cracked the code in something like 6 hours! Oh internet is there anything you can’t do? For those who just want to know: #Mars2020 #CountdownToMars pic.twitter.com/yTJCEnbuLY
— Adam Steltzner (@steltzner) February 23, 2021
You might also notice a few random numbers and letters in the image above, and there is good reason for that. The parachute’s outer ring has its own hidden message. When the numbers and letters are put together, they form 34°11’58” N 118°10’31” W, which are the geographic coordinates for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
NASA wasn’t content with just these two easter eggs though, as the organisation also hid an adorable message on the Perseverance rover itself. As you can see in the image below, the rover has a family portrait of past Mars rovers, which include Sojourner, Spirit, Opportunity, Curiosity and of course Perseverance itself.
This set of pictures of NASA’s Perseverance rover shows an easter egg on its deck: a NASA rovers family sketch with the silhouettes of Sojourner, Spirit, Opportunity, Curiosity and Perseverance itself [source: https://t.co/eLlTyG17kP] pic.twitter.com/7ErAwZCObZ
— Massimo (@Rainmaker1973) February 23, 2021
With all these hidden messages and easter eggs, it’s safe to say that if an advanced life form one day comes across the Perseverance parachute and rover itself, they’ll know exactly where it came from, down to the exact coordinates.