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


MissJenn
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2 hours ago, cerberus1 said:

Yep. 

Funny, this was started over six months ago with mention of what's going to happen, and now folks are in a hurry.      :D

Well Groundspeak increased the hype by sending a newletter about a souvenir related to this without mentionning it will be locked for several more weeks. 

 

13 366 people will have fun with their mailboxe when Groundspeak decide to unlock it...

Edited by Lynx Humble
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I’ll confess, I was intrigued by the initial announcement and found the code back in July, but I’m not in the slightest bit interested in logging yet.

 

I don’t think I’ve ever logged a trackable without having had it my hands (or within reach), and if I were to log it now, it would mean nothing.

 

The big deal here is that we’re waiting for a photo to be beamed back from Mars.  That’s really something!  It may still only be a virtual discovery, but it’s a pretty special one.  I will make an exception to my rule once I’ve seen that photo.  Patience is a virtual! ?

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5 hours ago, IceColdUK said:

The big deal here is that we’re waiting for a photo to be beamed back from Mars.  That’s really something!  It may still only be a virtual discovery, but it’s a pretty special one.  I will make an exception to my rule once I’ve seen that photo.  Patience is a virtual! ?

Truth!

 

For me it's not about just another TB discovery. It's the fact that we are literally waiting to "discover" the TB as it is reported, sitting on the surface of Mars. That's pretty freaking fantastic :)

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20 minutes ago, The Marathon Man said:

As soon as I log my discovery of the Mars TB, I will be deleting my name from the "Watch-List" for the TB. 

Be fast!! ?

4 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

For me it's not about just another TB discovery. It's the fact that we are literally waiting to "discover" the TB as it is reported, sitting on the surface of Mars. That's pretty freaking fantastic :)

Exactly!!  

I'm getting so much more out of this than just a travel bug log. All those images, the successful landing, learning about the experiments, and secret codes. It's exciting!! 

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Some images of GC target online but may be obfuscated?

 

I found an image of the calibration target in some NASA documents, which shows an appropriately Sherlockian cipher as well.  However, one of those symbols seems like a "typo" to me (doesn't match the key) so this could mean this previously published picture may have been tweaked to make it correct-looking but wrong.

 

I'm anxiously awaiting the calibration image from Percy!

 

ADmuk

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The first image I found was low resolution and I couldn’t make out several images of the code.  Then I found a very crisp image and easily solved the puzzle.  
 

And I’m assuming that someone at GS will flip an “off switch” for discovery notifications on the watchlist. 
 

 

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6 hours ago, philbeer said:

There are 13752 users watching this TB.  Probably doing to make the GC Hamsters VERY TIRED!  And phones to blow up.... ;)

 

 

Yep! Tons of people are crazy to get emails about a rover TB! I was watching the Locationless CITO Cache that came out recently and on the morning... here comes over 500 E-mails!!! Boy was I annoyed as I was going through my mail that morning...

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I received a warning on my last post.  

 

I mentioned GC HQ had announced when the trackable will be unlocked.    True, here's a quote from the blog  "

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. "

 

Well, you all have 1 day to fulfill this.   Again, seems odd to hype this thing when it can't be logged.  Be respectful to you paying customer - no bait and wait....

 

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2 hours ago, cache_n_out said:

I received a warning on my last post.  

 

I mentioned GC HQ had announced when the trackable will be unlocked.    True, here's a quote from the blog  "

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. "

 

Well, you all have 1 day to fulfill this.   Again, seems odd to hype this thing when it can't be logged.  Be respectful to you paying customer - no bait and wait....

 


Yeh, right!  Geocaching HQ need to get on to NASA and tell them to pull their finger out!  Don’t NASA know that some Geocachers pay good money to play this game?!  </sarcasm>

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Since the TB page says that a picture would be sent “a few days” after landing, people are expecting activation by now. 
 

But it takes at least 10 days to shake down the rover and make certain all systems function.  It takes about 10 minutes for a radio signal to pass between the planets so regardless of the number of steps that the rover can perform on its own, there is still 20 minutes of dead time to confirm an operation.  If things don’t go smoothly, time is added.  I could not find a comprehensive mission schedule, so I have no idea when the SHERLOC calibration target will be used.  My own guess is that it would be done at least once before the rover first moves. 
 

Mars’ rotation means that half the day the rover is out of view.  The photos are relayed from the rover to a Mars satellite so that is another limitation.  
 

So for now, just wait a bit more. 

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12 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

 

One of the senior NASA scientists involved in the rover project is also a geocacher. You can hear the story behind it from him in this podcast.

Well that is interesting. I will definitely look at that podcast. awesome that we, as geocachers, can connect by 1 person from NASA and have our own code on the rover at mars. I wonder when this code is coming out. especially since others have seen it in summer of 2020!!! Can't Geocaching HQ make it visible? I got the E-mail a few weeks ago and there is still no code out there!!!

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On 2/19/2021 at 12:37 PM, Moun10Bike said:

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.

 

Don't spoil it, but after reading a bunch of articles, and looking at various pictures, I still don't know what to look for when it's time to look for it.

 

Will it be a readable, identifiable tracking number (as a typical 6-digit/letter Tracking Code), or is it a puzzle to first "decode" which then reveals an official Tracking Code?  How do I know what to look for when "the image" is published?  Or is that also a secret?

 

This may have been answered, but I scrolled through 4 pages of this thread, and read the TB page, and didn't see an explanation.  External news articles that talk about all the "Easter eggs" say the image on the target (and I think they are more confused than I am) is "a Geocache" or "geocaching", if the article mentions it at all.

 

EDIT:  Nevermind. I tried an obvious thing, and it looks like it will be tough to be more specific without spoiling the surprise. But it sure brings up some questions, so I'll be back later.  :ph34r:

 

Edited by kunarion
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Just now, Max and 99 said:

I see what you mean. 

 

BUT I don't see any specifics about what "Tracking Codes" look like.  That is, there isn't necessarily anything identifiable about a "Tracking Code", not the way we previously explained how to know it is one.  So I guess yes and no.  :anicute:

 

Wondering aloud, will the image at least have the text "Trackable At Geocaching.com"?  I see a lot of articles that say the code is "a Geocache", which is gonna be a challenge to persons who aren't Geocachers, who try to use that code for... "Geocaching".  I hope more explanations are forthcoming.  

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4 hours ago, CAPTAINVALPO96 said:

Can't Geocaching HQ make it visible? I got the E-mail a few weeks ago and there is still no code out there!!!

 

It will be made visible to everyone when the team controlling the rover activate the Watson camera and point it at its calibration target. HQ have no control over when that happens.

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22 hours ago, admuk said:

Some images of GC target online but may be obfuscated?

 

I found an image of the calibration target in some NASA documents, which shows an appropriately Sherlockian cipher as well.  However, one of those symbols seems like a "typo" to me (doesn't match the key) so this could mean this previously published picture may have been tweaked to make it correct-looking but wrong.

 

I'm anxiously awaiting the calibration image from Percy!

 

ADmuk

I tried the code I have and it took me to trackable log screen for Perseverance so I think the one I have is right.

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11 hours ago, Raysfan39 said:

New here. Anyone know when they will unlock it to log the code?

First off, people have claimed to know the code since summer of 2020. Second: others are starting to get annoyed because the code has to be put out on the TB page today. They said in their description, “...in the second half on February...”.

Edited by CAPTAINVALPO96
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27 minutes ago, CAPTAINVALPO96 said:

Second: others are starting to get mad because the code has to be put out on the TB page today. They said in their description, “...in the second half on February...”.


The whole point of this trackable is to see an image beamed back from the surface of Mars - something that just might be outside of Geocaching HQ’s control.

 

Who’s getting mad?  And why?

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3 minutes ago, IceColdUK said:


The whole point of this trackable is to see an image beamed back from the surface of Mars - something that just might be outside of Geocaching HQ’s control.

 

Who’s getting mad?  And why?

Because Geocaching HQ said on the TB page earlier this month that the code would be put in the second half of February.

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2 minutes ago, CAPTAINVALPO96 said:

Because Geocaching HQ said on the TB page earlier this month that the code would be put in the second half of February.


They also said:

 

Discovering the Trackable: It may take several days, even weeks, for SHERLOC and WATSON to take the photo and send it back to Earth.

 

Who exactly are you mad with?  Geocaching HQ for their optimistic ‘second half of February’ prediction, or NASA for dragging their heels?

 

Or do you just want to log your discovery and get your souvenir regardless of what happens on the surface of Mars?

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Ok. I’m interested in science and the fact that there is a rover on Mars. I’m just annoyed because people are claiming to have seen the code in the picture in the summer of 2020. NASA is dragging around a bit. Plus, Geocaching HQ kind of expected to have it in the next few days.

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Never seen anything more boring than this trackable :-(

The rover is already sending many interesting pictures, but everyone seems to wait for a technical calibration picture with information that is already well known to all of us.

 

It sort of reminds me of the old days of TV, when it was still possible to wait for the "calibration"-screen to be broadcasted  ;-)

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The anticipation is DELICIOUS!

 
Since there are recent newcomers to this forum discussion, here are some existing resources:
 
1 - You can listen to Podcast Episode 48: Geocaching on Mars – Interview with Dr. Francis McCubbin.
 
2 - A written interview with Dr. McCubbin is also available in Spanish, French, German, Dutch, and English:  https://www.geocaching.com/blog/page/2/?s=mccubbin
 
3 - The trackable page has been edited:
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 first half of March. The tracking code is on the WATSON camera’s calibration target. After Perseverance lands on Mars and NASA is ready, that 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. 
 
4. Please note that Geocaching HQ is giving explicit permission as the owner to log this trackable virtually. Normally, logging trackables that you have not personally seen is strongly discouraged. It is up to the trackable owner to state if they allow this. Read more about virtual logs in our Help Center.
 
5. For so much more on NASA's Mars missions, including news about not just Perseverance but also about Curiosity, Insight, and the orbiters: https://mars.nasa.gov/

 

 
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Yes there may be pics of what we are waiting for but it is just an image of it before it left Earth. I for one, am excited to see a picture from WATSON of it doing its job on the surface of Mars. It might even get my husband interested in geocaching, along with the cache on ISS.

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2 hours ago, Franimals said:

Yes there may be pics of what we are waiting for but it is just an image of it before it left Earth. I for one, am excited to see a picture from WATSON of it doing its job on the surface of Mars. It might even get my husband interested in geocaching, along with the cache on ISS.

Is there really a ISS Cache?

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2 hours ago, MissJenn said:

The anticipation is DELICIOUS!

 
Since there are recent newcomers to this forum discussion, here are some existing resources:
 
1 - You can listen to Podcast Episode 48: Geocaching on Mars – Interview with Dr. Francis McCubbin.
 
2 - A written interview with Dr. McCubbin is also available in Spanish, French, German, Dutch, and English:  https://www.geocaching.com/blog/page/2/?s=mccubbin
 
3 - The trackable page has been edited:
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 first half of March. The tracking code is on the WATSON camera’s calibration target. After Perseverance lands on Mars and NASA is ready, that 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. 
 
4. Please note that Geocaching HQ is giving explicit permission as the owner to log this trackable virtually. Normally, logging trackables that you have not personally seen is strongly discouraged. It is up to the trackable owner to state if they allow this. Read more about virtual logs in our Help Center.
 
5. For so much more on NASA's Mars missions, including news about not just Perseverance but also about Curiosity, Insight, and the orbiters: https://mars.nasa.gov/

 

 

 

Here's another thing to do while we wait. :drama: Check out today's blog for an update on new EarthCaches featuring Planetary Geology on Earth!

 

What kind of geological features exist near you that might become part of the Planetary Geology on Earth series?

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On 2/28/2021 at 1:54 PM, CAPTAINVALPO96 said:

I’m just annoyed because people are claiming to have seen the code in the picture in the summer of 2020.

I'm not sure if the operative word here is "annoyed" or "claiming" - but to the latter, it is true, the code has been known since the summer of 2020, not merely claimed to be known. To the former, well at least everyone's on a level playing field right now as no one can log it whether they know the code or not. Once it's unlocked it'll be a hayday.

 

 

IMO, the worst that has happened in this, which is really pushing it, is perhaps the 'optimistic' timeframe of HQ's original announcement for discovery of the TB. If the time to be allowed to discover the TB was left unstated, there'd be no annoyance with having to wait longer than an expected timeframe. But other than that, people just need to be patient. There's no competition, there's nothing to be gained from claiming the discovery earlier. Sit tight. Enjoy the ride. :) 

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