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Experiment 626: Mars Perseverance supersonic parachute

DARE MIGHTY THINGS

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory successfully landed the Perseverance rover on the surface of Mars to search for signs of ancient life, and they used the world's coolest supersonic parachute to do so. Hidden on the canopy in binary code is the JPL Motto: Dare Mighty Things and the geolocation for the Lab.

Dare Mighty Things parachute

 

We absolutely love this.  This is 100% our kind of nerding. To honor the mission, we are working on a new earring and necklace design that replicates the parachute's message.

First, let's look at how the binary message is encoded. The suspension lines divide the parachute's canopy into 80 segments. By alternating the red and white pattern, a binary code of ones and zeros is created. For example, the binary code (000)0000100 is the number 4. 

 

Getting from the number 4 to the capital letter 'D' requires a peek at an ASCII chart: The alphabet starts at position 65, so adding 64 + 4 = 68, the ASCII for 'D'. With this information, not only can we replicate the original NASA message, we can also create coded messages of our own. :-)

Next came experimentation with various colors of acrylic sheet and paint. We settled on two variations: a classic red and white, and a clear acrylic disc with white design.
Check out the final versions and get your own Dare Mighty Things earrings and necklace.

Work in Progress: Binary Message Disc

 

The JPL's Motto, Dare Mighty Things, is a quote from Teddy Roosevelt:

"Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat."

 

This is going to be fun!

(Looking for our art fair booth information card? We've got it over here>>)

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