The hidden secrets of the Perseverance mission to Mars

    NASA’s Perseverance rover made its descent into the Jezero crater on Mars on February 18, 2021 making history. What codes has the space agency included?

    The first mystery revealed about Perseverance was that, using binary code, two messages were coded in two colors, making up the hemispherical shape of the canopy. The inside said “Dare to powerful things” or “Dare to great things”, however we want to translate it, with each word located in its own ring. The outer band of the canopy provides GPS coordinates for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, where the rover was built and the project is managed.

    Mars 2020 “Percy” systems engineer Ian Clark designed the binary code pattern. This is JPL’s motto and is a summary of a quote from Teddy Roosevelt’s “Strenuous Life” speech: “Much better is it to dare to mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even if they are marked by failure, than to align with those poor spirits who they neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat ”.

    But what other mysteries does Perseverance hide?

    There is a tribute to health workers

    The Perseverance rover pays tribute to the paramedics who have been battling the COVID-19 pandemic since last year. Let’s remember that the robot was launched into space in July 2020, just a few months after the coronavirus began to hit the planet. The recon is nothing more than an aluminum plate on the left side of the rover that shows a snake wrapped in a cane; common emblem of medicine in America.

    MASTCAM-Z carries a message

    The message added to the cameras that will take pictures of Mars in high definition and in full color reads: “Are we alone? We came here to look for signs of life and collect samples of Mars to study them on Earth. To those who follow, we wish you a safe journey and the joy of discovery. ” As a curiosity, it also has a dinosaur, a fern, cyanobacteria, a man and a woman drawn, among other things.

    The names of Perseverance

    The rover includes three microchips with almost 11 million names. Who do these names belong to? They are part of the “Send your name to Mars” campaign, a NASA initiative that has already been repeated in Curiosity and previous rovers bound for the red planet.

    SHERLOC and Sherlock

    In Perseverance’s SHERLOC (Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics & Chemicals) instrument, which studies the landscape and atmosphere of Mars, we found a coin marked with the address of Sherlock Holmes: 221b Baker Street, London.

    Supercam hides a meteor

    The Supercam, the laser instrument that strikes rocks and soil on the Martian surface to discover their composition and which has significant Spanish participation, has its own portion of the Martian meteorite. He is carrying a Martian rock that previously made a round trip to the International Space Station.

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