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Dare Mighty Things: Mars Rover’s Giant Parachute Carried Secret Message

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The huge parachute used by NASA’s Perseverance rover to land on Mars contained a secret message, thanks to a puzzle lover on the spacecraft team.

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, California.

Clark, a crossword hobbyist, came up with the idea two years ago. Engineers wanted an unusual pattern in the nylon fabric to know how the parachute was oriented during descent. Turning it into a secret message was super fun,” he said Tuesday.

Only about six people knew about the encoded message before Thursdays landing, according to Clark. They waited until the parachute images came back before putting out a teaser during a televised news conference Monday.

It took just a few hours for space fans to figure it out, Clark said. Next time, he noted, Ill have to be a little bit more creative.

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.

Clark suspects there are even more so-called hidden Easter eggs, but adds: I’m not even privy to them.”

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Nurse P Niveda from Puducherry administers Bharat Biotech’s ‘Covaxin’ to PM Modi

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On Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the first shot of the Coronavirus vaccine at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi.

Dressed in the traditional Assamese gamosa and a white kurta, PM Modi reached the hospital on Monday morning to get his vaccine shot. Health worker P Niveda, who hails from Puducherry, administered the first dose of the vaccine to PM Modi. A second nurse from Kerala – Sister Rosamma Anil from Kerala was also seen standing behind them.

The Prime Minister reached AIIMS at 6.25am on Monday morning and did not take any special routes. PM Modi was administered with Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.

After taking the vaccines shot, PM Modi tweeted saying he took the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine as the country kicked off the second phase of its vaccination drive. He also praised the doctors and scientists and also urged those eligible to take the vaccine.

“Remarkable how our doctors and scientists have worked in quick time to strengthen the global fight against COVID-19. I appeal to all those who are eligible to take the vaccine. Together, let us make India COVID-19 free!” said PM Modi in his tweet.

Speaking to media later, AIIMS nurse P Niveda stated that she has been working in AIIMS for the last 3 years. She added that the PM had exclaimed he could not even feel the prick, in a praise of her skills.

Second phase of the vaccination drive starts

From Monday, India will begin the next phase of the world’s largest vaccination drive. The vaccination drive will cover the next priority group – over the age of 60 years and those between 45 and 59 years suffering from pre-specified co-morbidities. 

The vaccines will be provided free at the government health facilities while private facilities will charge Rs 250 per person per dose. The Rs 250 charge includes Rs 150 for vaccines and Rs 100 as operational charges.



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