Nasa, an encrypted message in Perseverance’s parachute: “Dare powerful things” –

If it had been involved, Gabriele D’Annunzio would have written Remember to always be bold. NASA wrote instead Dare Mighty Things, that is Dare powerful things. More or less the meaning of the motto of the Abruzzese poet. The US Space Agency encrypted it in the parachute used to get the Perseverance rover safely to the surface of Mars in Jezero crater last week. But someone, carefully observing the photographs released by NASA itself, noticed that the white and red colors of the parachute were not arranged at random. There was a logic and perhaps it was hiding a message, indeed, more encrypted messages.

the message

The message is written in binary code, a system also used by computers to compose digits and letters using only two signals: on and off, which can also be represented as 1 and 0. If we assume that white is equal to 0 and the red at 1, then on the three sectors into which the internal part of the parachute can be divided, letters appear that put together form the writing Dare Mighty Things. But not only. Other letters appear on the outside along with numbers: 34 ° 11’58 ”N 118 ° 10’31” W. These are the geographic coordinates of the Jpl-Caltech mission control center in Pasadena, California.

The writing in the mission control room of Jpl-Caltech in Pasadena

The origin

Where does the word Dare Mighty Things come from? NASA has used this expression several times as a motto during press conferences and social messages and it also appears inside the central control room of Jpl-Caltech from where all the difficult descent of Perseverance on the red planet was followed. The first to utter that phrase was future President Theodore Roosevelt in a speech in 1899, when he was governor of the State of New York and was running for deputy to then President William McKinley, who was assassinated on September 6, 1901 and Roosevelt took His place. The phrase was: “It is far better to dare powerful things than to win glorious triumphs.”

The motivation

There is a reason why NASA didn’t make a single uniform color parachute. The different colored marks are used to more easily see the angle that the probe takes during the descent and to observe if the threads of the parachute itself (whose hi-tech fabric was made in England) are knotted with each other, risking a ruinous fall. “Sometimes we put messages in our parachutes,” admitted a NASA commentator. “We leave the enthusiasts the pleasure of deciphering them.”

February 24, 2021 (change February 24, 2021 | 19:08)

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