The “Mars” rover has been in the news this week — this time NASA is claiming that the rover is able to collect rock samples from the surface of Mars — and will eventually transfer those rock samples on to a module and return them to Earth for examination — allegedly sometime in the 2030s.
Interestingly, over 10 years ago, a NASA contractor — inXitu, Inc. — claimed to have developed a rover that could collect and analyze rocks right on the surface of Mars and transmit the results back to Earth without having to physically transport the rocks back to Earth — however, this recent article on rock collecting on Mars fails to mention that common sense technology at all.
Physically transporting rocks back to Earth to be examined is something that we’d expect to see only in low-budget 1950s sci-fi movies.
Richard Hall — a British engineer who runs the website RichPlanet.net — has done a series of videos examining an increasing mountain of evidence suggesting serious chicanery involving these rovers on “Mars”. As they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words” — and those pictures allegedly coming back from Mars are being surreptitiously vetted long before the public — and even most NASA employees — get to see them.
In Hall’s series “Where Are The Mars Rovers?” he discusses many of these anomalies with his fellow scientist Andrew Johnson. In Part 3 of that series, they discuss a lengthy anonymous essay posted on an astrophysicists blog written by a software engineer who had worked for NASA — and during a routine trouble-shooting job with the rover, discovered a “backdoor” in the Mars rover’s software that allowed NASA to receive thumbnail images from the rovers “on Mars” allegedly in real time — no time delay, but because of the immense distance between Earth and Mars — this would be a scientific impossibility — as radio transmission faster than the speed of light is an impossibility.
Of course, the software engineer truly believed that the rovers were on Mars — as do most NASA scientists — so the only explanation he could come up with to explain how NASA was receiving these thumbnails in real time was to speculate that NASA had developed some “secret” technology that allowed them to receive these images in real time while failing to apply Occam’s Razor and completely ignoring the simplest — and obvious — explanation that they rovers were on Earth, not Mars.
We have taken the time to transcribe the fascinating conversation between Richard Hall and Andrew Johnson — which you can read here below — or you can watch the original video here on RichPlanet’s video YouTube channel:
Andrew Johnson: [In 2010] they were basically looking into a scenario where one of the rovers had failed to respond to a command which had been given to it — and this is flagged up automatically as something that needs to be investigated by the techie guys. So they did what is called a “memory dump” — where they saved out a portion of the rover’s memory RAM to look at what software was actually running at the time this fault occurred. And they talk about reverse engineering the source language back into C-code — de-compiling — so they could work out what had caused this software fault….And during the course of that analysis, they found some code which had been loaded into the RAM which they didn’t recognize. And looking at the memory mapping in this code, it appeared to be talking to another module. These modules have a particular IO address — or output address — in the system. And so when they looked into that, they had all sorts of specs for the rovers and how they worked…So they then they worked out what appeared to be happening was the code was talking to another radio module — and further to that — they were able to retrieve some of the data which this radio module had been working with. And it turned out they were actually able to save out some of this data — and it turned out to be thumbnail images — which are these little versions of images that you see on digital cameras when you want to look at a preview. And then after several weeks, they took the thumbnails that they managed to retrieve from the analysis they’d done and comparing those to other thumbnails which were already on their database…
Richard Hall: They did a scan of the whole JPL [Jet Propulsion Lab] network. One of them had access to other departments within JPL ’cause he was an administrator of some kind — and they generated their own thumbnail, which had certain characteristics within it — because it was generated using this specific function — and they did a scan comparing it and found some being generated with the same code. Someone in the JPL company had access to this secret code that was running in the….Spirit Rover….
Johnson: And then they found where these secret or rogue thumbnail images…these clandestinely retrieved thumbnail images — found where they were stored. They were stored in another office in JPL….called Quantum Sciences and Technology.
Hall: So they then started to eavesdrop on part of their network — and found that they were in communication with one of the rovers in real time. Normally, it would take between 6 and 20 minutes to — and then back from the rover because it’s on Mars, but they were communicating in real time…
Johnson: And they worked that out from the time stamp on the images — and the way these images had a time stamp coming from the rover — and they could compare that with when the actual file had been saved on that system…
Hall: And this is the key, folks: the conclusion that these guys come to — they said, well, this department, Quantum Sciences and Technology have obviously developed faster than light radio communications….so that’s how they are able to this backdoor into the rover. And what functionally was being done with the rover is someone was previewing images, deleting some of them, and modifying some of them. Just to expand on that, there is an extra device on the rover that no one knows about that the computer system is communicating with surreptitiously and someone is accessing thumbnails via that link — they are reviewing them in some way — and are deleting certain images. So there is a third party got a backdoor into the rover. And these two engineers — because they are so convinced that these rovers are on Mars — they say the only solution is — the only thing we can think of is — that this secret department has developed faster than light radio communications….
Johnson: They don’t really give a reason as to why they employ these faster than light communications….
Hall: An explanation which is just as plausible — more plausible in my opinion — is that the thing is on the Earth — and it’s being communicated by some low-flying satellite.
Johnson: Even if we take their explanation as being the correct one….it clearly suggests some scenario where the images are being previewed — they are being pre-examined — before they are being dealt with in some other way….
Hall: This rover has what is called a VME back plane….and it’s industry standard. The main processor module in the rover is ruggedized, so it’s more robust than something you’d get in a power station, but the same back plane. Normally, in VME systems, you would have spare slots, so it’s a bit like your computer with extra PCI slots — and is it the case that the rover in question, the Spirit Rover, does have a redundant slot, and they’ve pushed another card into the rack, and then added a radio transceiver that the card is talking to….but to make that work, you’d have to modify the software in the main processor in order to communicate via the VME bus, which is what these engineers realized….so someone has added a bit of code and a bit of hardware, so that the thing can be controlled, and the images can be deleted via a radio link. That radio link can easily be sent to a local satellite dish — and they could be sitting in the next office at JPL. So you got one department who are getting the images, and they think they are coming from Mars, and there’s another department across the road who know it is on the Earth, and they were accessing the images in real time, and were deleting the ones they don’t want them to see.
Johnson: The guy who has written this story tells how the computer he’s working on gets broken into — so he gets spooked by this — and though he’s not found out and he’s not taken aside by anyone at NASA — he decides to jump ship. And the friend he was working with — he can never speak to him again…