The scientists and engineers who built the Persevereance Rover managed to work in some fun details. NASA.gov goes over 5 easter eggs for the Martians to find.
The “extras” are part of a tradition that harks back to the early space age and is now called “festooning” in NASA lingo. A plaque aboard Pioneer 10 and 11 displays a man and a woman for distant spacefarers who might find the spacecraft. The Golden Record aboard Voyager 1 and 2 serves a similar purpose. Metal from the wreckage of the Twin Towers on 9/11 was installed on the rovers Opportunity and Spirit, while Spirit also carried a memorial to the crew of Space Shuttle Columbia.
“These kinds of embellishments add artistic elements on missions that are otherwise solely dominated by science and technology, as well as lasting tributes to colleagues who have helped pave the way for humanity’s exploration of space,” said Jim Bell of Arizona State University, who has helped festoon almost all of NASA’s Mars rovers, including Perseverance. Bell is the principal investigator of Perseverance’s Mastcam-Z, a pair of zoomable cameras that will capture gorgeous color panoramas of the Martian surface.
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