AKA: Letter from NASA to ESA Rosetta’s for it’s wake up from hibernation.
The tradition of the peanuts for JPL missions goes way back to the 1960s with the very first missions we sent to the moon. We had seven mission attempts to go to the moon before we succeeded, and on that seventh one, they had passed out peanuts in the control room. Ranger 7, which in July 1964 became the first U.S. space proble to succesfully transmit close images of the moon’s surface back to the Earth, made the peanuts into a tradition at JPL. So ever since then, it has been a long standing tradition to hand out peanuts whenever we launch and whenever we do anything important like land on a planet. We use all the luck we can get!
For MSL, we put a label on the jar that says “dare mighty things”. That phrase was taken from Theodore Roosevelt’s quote, “far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even when though checkered by failure, than to rank with those timid spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the grey twilight that knows either victory nor defeat.”