An illustration depicting the 17-digit product identification number (PIN) that is on a metal plate on the Mars Perseverance rover’s robotic arm. Above and below the PIN there is text explaining what the digits stand for.

April 04, 2021

This illustration ‘cracks the code’ for the Product Identification Number inscribed on the right side of the Mars 2020 mission name plate, located on the robotic arm of the Perseverance rover. The 17-digit PIN number is similar to the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on vehicles on Earth, but signifies that this is an off-road vehicle. Issued in part by the Society of Automotive Engineers, a PIN or VIN number provides a unique vehicle identifier, while encoding information about the vehicle’s characteristics and manufacture. In the Perseverance rover’s PIN, some characters are assigned by the Society of Automotive Engineers, while others are provided by NASA to describe aspects like the rover’s destination, mission objective, number of science instruments, and power source.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California built and manages operations of the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover for NASA.

For more information about the mission, go to:




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