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Clever Internet Users Figured Out Hidden Message in Perseverance’s Parachute

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  • The parachute’s red and white pattern represents binary codes – the red stands for one and the white stands for zero. Each ring represents one of the words in the puzzle’s phrase.
  • Maxence Abela, a 23-year-old computer science student in Paris, and his father, Jerome, a Google software engineer, worked on solving the puzzle.
  • The motto renditioned on the parachute is taken from Theodore Roosevelt’s famous speech.

You want a problem or puzzle solved, just put it out there on the internet and someone will always try to do it for you. Users on Twitter were able to guess the secret message hidden on the parachute used by NASA’s Perseverance Rover, which recently landed on Mars.

Take a look at the parachute that helped on Perseverance’s successful landing. There is even an “easter egg” connecting to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which was one of those responsible for the rover.

During a live stream on the Mars landing, Allen Chen, the engineer in charge of the landing system, said: “Sometimes we leave messages in our work for others to find. So we invite you all to give it a shot and show your work.”

Around six hours later, Twitter came up with the answer.

The parachute’s red and white pattern represents binary codes – the red stands for one and the white stands for zero. Each ring represents one of the words in the puzzle’s phrase. In order to crack the code, you have to split up the zeros and ones into 10 characters. Add 64 to get the letter of the ASCII code.

On the chute’s outer ring, you will find the coordinates for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge, California.

Twitter guessed right, as confirmed by Perseverance chief engineer Adam Steltnzer himself. He even provided a handy diagram to help people understand the placement.

So who exactly solved the puzzle? Maxence Abela, a 23-year-old computer science student in Paris, called his father, Jerome, about it. Jerome is a software engineer at Google. Father and son worked on solving the puzzle.

Others around the world also worked on the puzzle, exchanging insights via Twitter and Reddit.

Abela posted his answer on Tweeter at 4:36 pm Eastern time, about two hours after Chen dropped the hint on the parachute.

“DARE MIGHTY THINGS.”

The motto renditioned on the parachute is taken from Theodore Roosevelt’s famous speech, in which he says, “Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”

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