It’s not the reason presented here, no. Here, it’s simply that their code was one number off.
But these aliens built a computer controlled device. Doesn’t matter if it’s a mine or a toaster, it’s controlled by a computer. In order to build anything that is computer controlled you need to be able to represent its state. The fundamental state of any electronic machine is very simple: it is on or it is off. And there you have the very basic basis of computer science.
If we are talking about a mine then that mine must know that it is not being moved. Therefore it must calculate its current momentum relative to its known position.
Pop quiz: if it isn’t moving then its current momentum would be what?