“Dare Mighty Things” — a line from President Theodore Roosevelt — is a mantra at JPL and adorns many of the center's walls. The trick was “trying to come up with a way of encoding it but not making it too obvious," Clark said.
As for the GPS coordinates, the spot is 10 feet (3 meters) from the entrance to JPL's visitor center.
Another added touch not widely known until touchdown: Perseverance bears a plaque depicting all five of NASA's Mars rovers in increasing size over the years — similar to the family car decals seen on Earth.
Deputy project manager Matt Wallace promises more so-called hidden Easter eggs. They should be visible once Perseverance's 7-foot (2-meter) arm is deployed in a few days and starts photographing under the vehicle, and again when the rover is driving in a couple weeks.
“Definitely, definitely should keep a good lookout,” he urged.
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This image from video made available by NASA shows the parachute deployed during the descent of the Mars Perseverance rover as it approaches the surface of the planet on Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021. Systems engineer Ian Clark used a binary code to spell out “Dare Mighty Things” in the orange and white strips of the 70-foot (21-meter) parachute. He also included the GPS coordinates for the mission's headquarters at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. (NASA/JPL-Caltech via AP)