Random Space Fact: Dare Mighty Things

Mar 5, 2021 | Daily Space, Mars 2020, Perseverance, Random Space Fact

Random Space Fact: Dare Mighty Things

Your random space fact for this week is that the parachute for the Mars 2020 rover had JPL’s motto “Dare Mighty Things” and JPL’s coordinates in degrees/minutes/seconds written in binary in the red and white patches of the parachute. This served a legitimate engineering purpose as a way to easily determine the orientation of the different parachute sectors in the video.

It also served as a fun little easter egg. Mars 2020 Chief Engineer Adam Steltzner took to Twitter to note that it had taken the Internet hive mind only six hours to crack the code, which he was surprised by.

JPL has a history of including easter eggs on spacecraft. The wheels of the MSL rover, for example, were designed with grooves that spelled out ‘JPL’ in Morse code as the rover traveled across the Martian surface.

More Information

Mars rover’s giant parachute carried secret message (PBS Newshour)


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