# Can you solve this famous NASA emoji puzzle? Written by Isha Chakraborty

Bio

In July this year, NASA’s STEM engagement account on Twitter celebrated the 50th-anniversary moon landing by  posting this interesting puzzle : OK! So, now let’s get down to solving this puzzle. And I have two ways of going about it – a visual method; and a purely algebraic method. Let’s start with the visual one!

Method #1: Now, this image can be redrawn as (focus on row 2): Further (focus on column 1): Further (focus on column 2):  Thus, all of them were born in 1930!

And now let’s do it the algebra way!

Method 2:

Let’s assume the values are:

a is the value of the astronaut

m is the value of the moon

r  is the value of the rocket

e is the value of the satellite

Now, let’s form the equation using the puzzle information:

a + m = 45

r x e = 14

a + r = 32

m x e = 40

Using the last equation:

m = 40/e

Putting this into the first equation:

a + 40/e = 45

a = 45-(40/e)

Putting this in the third equation:

45-(40/e) + r = 32

r = 32 – [ 45-(40/e)]

Putting this in the third equation:

{32 – [ 45-(40/e)]} x e = 14

32e – 45e + 40 = 14

45e – 32e = 40-14

13e = 26

e = 2

Therefore,

m = 40/e = 40/2 = 20

a = 45 – m = 45 – 20 = 25

Therefore,

(a x e) – m = (25 x 2) – 20 = 50-20 = 30 