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NASA’s Mars Rover Perseverance is trackable via Geocaching! (TB5EFXK)


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Congratulations to NASA from Germany - what an adventure!:)

I just realized that Perseverance herself is a sort of robot cacher. If I got it right, she is to place all those drill cores in certain positions on Mars, for another robot cacher in a few years to come and find them.;)

I'm looking foreward to seeing the next photos.

Teuto-Yachter, Bielefeld

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From the Trackable Page....

 

<quote> The trackable code is specially printed on a one-inch, unique, glass disk that is part of the rover’s calibration target. Cameras and other tools on the rover use calibration targets to determine accurate colors, brightness, focus, and other information. This calibration target is specifically for the SHERLOC’s WATSON camera. The SHERLOC instrument is a spectrometer on the rover’s arm that uses laser light to classify minerals and look for organic compounds. WATSON, its sidekick camera system, is used for engineering, operations and science imaging on the surface of Mars.

How can I log this trackable if I’m not also going to Mars?

If you’re not blasting off anytime soon, don’t worry! You’ll still be able to log the Mars Rover in the second half of February 2021. The tracking code is on the WATSON camera’s calibration target. A few days after Perseverance lands on Mars, the camera will take a picture of the tracking code itself and send that picture back to Earth. You can log the Rover by finding the code in that picture. </quote>

 

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I remember how exciting was Apollo 11 landing on the moon July 20, 1969. we were on our family vacation and listened on AM radio. I find it hard to grasp that the computer capability of the Apollo missions was less than today's cell phones!  GO PERSEVERANCE!

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Geocaching has just been taken to a whole new level, like OUT OF THIS WORLD level for our family.  (see what I did there?) My husband and I started geocaching in 2010. We then introduced it to our boys when they were old enough to venture around on their own during our outdoor adventures. We have been to some pretty awesome places exploring and discovering caches. But NOTHING has come close to this experience. We popped popcorn, put blankets up on our windows, turned the volume up, and imagined we were on our way to Mars with the Rover. :drama:They boys, and us, are so excited to see more pictures to come! And of course, we can't wait to log that we cached on Mars! :)NASA, what an amazing accomplishment for you! And fellow geocachers, we love that we can share our excitement and pleasure in this incredible community of finders! :wub:

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On 7/29/2020 at 9:41 AM, ITRECKS said:

I found the code, but unfortunately the listing is locked :-(

I found it too. Now we just have to wait for them to unlock it.

 

Edited by Moun10Bike
Removing image that spoils the surprise
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Folks, please refrain from posting images of the trackable code here. We know that it is available if you search hard enough, but we want people to be able to be able to enjoy the "aha!" moment when the true calibration image is returned from Mars.

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19 hours ago, Teuto-Yachter said:

I just realized that Perseverance herself is a sort of robot cacher. If I got it right, she is to place all those drill cores in certain positions on Mars, for another robot cacher in a few years to come and find them.;)

 

Excellent observation. That is EXACTLY one of the early inspirational moments of this project. 

 

Here is a quote from the blog post where Dr. Francis McCubbin explains this a bit more:
 

Quote

 

HQ: As a geocacher and scientist, could you describe why this project is so exciting?

 

Dr. McCubbin: Mars sample return has been a high scientific priority for decades, and the fact that we are finally implementing a plan to complete it is immensely exciting from a scientific perspective. These samples are going to tell us so much about Mars, its past, and possibly whether Mars ever harbored life. When I learned that the strategy for collecting and returning samples included a rover that was going to cache samples on the surface for another rover to find, the geocacher in me was stirred with childlike glee that the rovers would be doing something that resembles geocaching on Mars. 

 

Being asked to actually help incorporate an element of geocaching on the Perseverance rover and getting to work with Geocaching HQ as a NASA scientist is exciting beyond what words can express. I can hardly wait for those first images of the calibration target from the WATSON imager to be sent back to Earth so we can see the word “geocaching” on something that is literally sitting on the surface of Mars. Geocaching has officially expanded its impact beyond the orbit of the global positioning satellites from which it emerged.

 

 

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49 minutes ago, Moun10Bike said:

We know that it is available if you search hard enough

 

The search was not very hard ;). A really cool thing. I'm excited to see the the true calibration image.

Edited by pipatah
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18 hours ago, caverdoc said:

I remember how exciting was Apollo 11 landing on the moon July 20, 1969. we were on our family vacation and listened on AM radio. I find it hard to grasp that the computer capability of the Apollo missions was less than today's cell phones!  GO PERSEVERANCE!

A Texas Instrument calculator from the 70s is more powerful than what was on Apollo 11.

 

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Once the image is loaded, geocachers should figure out and solve the fifteen glyph symbols that are on the bottom of the calibration target. Solved it. Science geek, space geek, geocaching geek.

Edited by Red Barrister
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On 2/19/2021 at 1:47 PM, Wacka said:

A Texas Instrument calculator from the 70s is more powerful than what was on Apollo 11.

 

We just had this discussion yesterday.  :D   

It wasn't until the end of my senior year (73), a student brought in a newfangled device called a TI lcd calculator, a grad gift from his uncle.

 

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1 hour ago, PlantStrong said:

Hello, I have found the trackable code for discovering this travel bug. The problem is, the thing is locked! Now that the rover has landed, it is time to unlock the trackable! please geocaching.com do your job. Thanks! 

They are doing their job. They are not unlocking the code until it's visible on the landing disc.  That's when the code is MEANT to be discovered.

Are you saying you already saw the image from Mars of the code?

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This is out of this world! I've been watching NASA TV a few days now. The landing was awesome. I love the backpack and the crane maneuver. The drone is cool, should get really awesome pics. Can't wait for the camera calibration to see the trackable. Maybe tomorrow. 

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I put the TB on my watchlist.  Along with 6,500+ others.  Does anyone know (perhaps a Lackey) if I'm going to get bombed by a few thousand Discovered log notifications when the TB code becomes available?  (I suppose a related question is: Will the TB page crash when the Activated notification hits and a few thousand people attempt to log it?)

 

Now back to reading The Martian Chronicles.

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2 minutes ago, Joe_L said:

I put the TB on my watchlist.  Along with 6,500+ others.  Does anyone know (perhaps a Lackey) if I'm going to get bombed by a few thousand Discovered log notifications when the TB code becomes available?  (I suppose a related question is: Will the TB page crash when the Activated notification hits and a few thousand people attempt to log it?)

 

Now back to reading The Martian Chronicles.

I would assume that 99.99% of the people watching that TB page will immediately take it off their watchlist once the first log is posted. I'm guessing that's why they're watching it in the first place so they'll know when it's unlocked? Just a guess.

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8 hours ago, speakers-corner said:

I think I have just found the Tracking Code but cant log it yet as the Page is locked .

Yes, you can find pics of it on the web but you are supposed to wait until Perseverance sends an image of it. Then the unlocking will happen.

 

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On 2/20/2021 at 8:25 PM, Max and 99 said:

They are doing their job. They are not unlocking the code until it's visible on the landing disc.  That's when the code is MEANT to be discovered.

Are you saying you already saw the image from Mars of the code?

Greetings. No, I am sorry. I mistakenly found an image that was posted in December 2020 and which clearly shows the trackable code. I believed it to be a new image, as I was using my phone to search at the time and in my excitement hastily made the original post. I apologize for that. Indeed, they are doing their job. Thank you.

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On 2/20/2021 at 6:56 PM, PlantStrong said:

Hello, I have found the trackable code for discovering this travel bug. The problem is, the thing is locked! Now that the rover has landed, it is time to unlock the trackable! please geocaching.com do your job. Thanks! 

My bad. The code I found, while valid, is not/not actually sent from Mars. It was posted ahead of the landing. I did not realize this until now. Please pardon me for writing in haste.

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