- 19 Jul 2013
Radio signals confirmed that the six-wheeled rover had survived its perilous descent and arrived within its target zone
I've not been following this really but yesterday evening and today I've quite enjoyed following news updates on the subject - I'm really excited to see the aforementioned video,
See Mars Like Never Before! NASA's Perseverance Rover Sends New Video and Images of the Red Planet
Lovely - thanks very much for the link. I'll give that a look and see what's going on (when it's live, of course).
At first, internet users noted that there seemed to be something strange about the red and white patterning on the parachute. Though they are usually striped, the stripes appeared to be organised in an unusual pattern, leading people to wonder whether there might be some logic behind it.
Just hours after it was spotted, internet users had worked out that logic, finding that it was in fact hiding a secret code related to Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which is behind the mission.
It was first established that the striping was probably binary code: with the red representing ones and the white representing zeroes. That can then be used to represent letters or words, in the same way as it does with a computer.
Once the different red and white stripes – or bits, in computer speak, which can either be off or on – are broken up into ten character chunks and added to 64, they can be turned into letters. The first of the letters, for instance, was 0000000100, or four, which can be read as “D”, since that is the fourth letter in the alphabet.
That was the first of the letters solved. From there, the rest of the letters were filled in, and the wording emerged.
The parachute, when decoded, reads “DARE MIGHTY THINGS”. That happens to be a key phrase at Nasa’s JPL, including on the wall in the room where mission controllers watched the landing.