Ooh, ooh – this is totally awesome! The Mars Perseverance parachute contains a hidden secret message! Hidden messages have been a geeky thing ever since nerds first began. CalTech, for example, has had a long-running contest to hide the initials DEI wherever they could, with bonus points for putting it on Mount Everest or the Moon.
So today along with other Mars Perseverance news came an interesting question: Did the engineers of the Mars Perseverance hide a hidden secret message? Turns out that the answer is “Yes!”
It started when the nerds at /r/NASA asked: “Does the parachute for Perseverance have some sort of hidden message or code in it?” Other geeks took a closer look and something was there. How did they come up with that answer? It’s really easy, if you know ASCII.
First, they looked closely at the three ‘rings’ of shapes in the Perseverance parachute. Then they realigned the individual colors of white and red on the parachute rings to act as 1s and 0s. Then, they put it all into Python to get the following message: