NASA Trailblazer parachute hiding secret messages? Internet buzz

In this concept illustration provided by NASA, NASA’s Perseverance rover ignites its descent engine as it approaches the surface of Mars, landing in Jezero crater on Mars.

“Perseverance successfully landed on Mars last week. NASA sparked an Internet buzz this week when it revealed that it had hidden a secret color-coded message on the Mars rover’s parachute.

The message was written in binary code by systems engineer Ian Clark. He wrote the NASA motto “Dare Mighty Things,” a quote from Theodore Roosevelt, in alternating white and orange stripes on the 70-foot parachute.

Clark was the lead developer of the parachute. He said that when he asked Matt Wallace, deputy project manager, if he could put a message on the parachute, the response was “make sure it’s appropriate and can’t be misinterpreted.

Clark, a crossword enthusiast, called the creation of the message “super fun. He ran into an interesting problem when coding the message – he couldn’t use any colors that hadn’t been tested in the Martian atmosphere. Because in its harsh environment, the integrity of the different color dyes could be weakened.

“There are all kinds of problems to guess at,” the New York Times reports, citing Clark. “Does the fact that there is more white than orange, for example, or vice versa, mean that the parachute is going to warm up differently, and maybe that will change its behavior?” And so on.

He said only about six people knew about the encrypted message before the Trailblazer landed last Thursday. However, at Monday’s news conference, it only took a few hours for the network to figure out the binary-encoded message.

“Next Time I’ll have to be a little more creative.” He said.

Alternating black and white or in this case orange and white is usually a hint that something is in binary code, which gives hobbyists their first clue.

Eventually, Internet sleuths spelled out the inspiring message on the parachute’s three inner rings, according to New Times.

Within hours, IT student Maxence Abela tweeted his answer. He, his father and others were able to solve the mystery. It took only six hours to do so.

A message was also written on a nameplate on the Mars rover, which will be used to calibrate the camera on the rover, New Times reported.

“Are we alone? We came here to look for signs of Life and to collect Martian samples for study on Earth. To those who follow, we wish them a safe journey and enjoy the joy of discovery.” The plaque also describes NASA’s five Mars rovers before and after, increasing in size each year.

Wallace promised that space fans can expect to find more “Easter eggs” once Trail’s 7-foot arm is deployed in a few days and begins filming underneath the rover, and again in a few weeks when it travels.

“Definitely, definitely watch it.” He urged.