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NASA reveals secret messages hidden inside the Orion spacecraft

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NASA may be serious about science, but the space agency also likes to have fun. Last week, NASA challenged the public browse an image from inside the Artemis I Orion spacecraft in search of hidden Easter eggs, which he described as “fun puzzles, hidden messages and visual references”. NASA revealed the answers to the challenge on December 10, the day before Orion returns to Earth with a parachute-assisted immersion in the Pacific Ocean.

The capsule had no humans on board, but it was filled with many other items, including a mannequin in an orange spacesuit, a Snoopy toy, and a tech demo that uses Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant. The messages included touching tributes to deceased team members.

There are five hidden messages in the crew cabin.

The red bird in the upper right is a tribute to former Orion Program Director and Johnson Space Center Director Mark Geyer, who passed away in 2021. Geyer was a huge fan of the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team.

Just above the Callisto-Alexa technology demonstration near the center is a set of dots and dashes that spell out the name “Charlie” when read from bottom to top. It is also a posthumous tribute. Charlie Lundquist, deputy director of the Orion program, died in 2020. He had worked on Orion since 2008.

Now look under Callisto and in front of the pilot’s seat. There is a series of numbers starting with 1. These are the country codes for each country that has worked on the development of the European Space Agency’s European Service Module. The module was responsible for Orion’s power and propulsion. The numbers honor the United States, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Spain, and the Netherlands.

On the right wall of the spacecraft are a series of letters: CBAGF. This is a reference to the notes used in Frank Sinatra’s 1964 recording of Fly Me to the Moon. It’s a way of connecting today’s Orion to the Apollo era of lunar exploration.

The final Easter egg is on top of the pilot’s seat to the right of the red NASA logo. It’s a binary code for the number 18. He points a hat following Apollo to Artemis. The last mission of the Apollo program was Apollo 17 in 1972. Artemis picks up where Apollo left off.

The Artemis I mission went well, sending the spacecraft beyond the moon as NASA sought to prove that Orion was ready to carry human astronauts for Artemis II. Now NASA can tick off another great achievement: a perfect return to Earth.

The tributes were sincere. Orion might not have humans on board, but he carried a lot of human emotions with him.



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CNET

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