First Flight on Another Planet!



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    The Mars Helicopter aims to make the first powered flight on another planet when it takes off on Mars as part of the Mars 2020 mission. I learned a lot getting to visit the drone right before it was mounted on the rover.
    How do you fly in 1% of Earth's atmosphere:
    Have large rotors (they are 1.2m in diameter) and spin them very fast, around 2500 RPM (5x the speed of a helicopter on Earth).
    Plus the aircraft has to be light:
    The Mars helicopter weighs in at 1.8kg or around the same as a laptop. Every piece had to be stripped down for weight. Instead of using aerogel for insulation, the craft makes use of CO2 gaps between components. Even aerogel was too heavy!
    One of the major challenges is surviving the Martian night:
    Temperatures plunge to -80C to -100C so two thirds of the craft's power is actually used to keep its electronics warm. Only one third is used for flying. The estimated flight time is 90 seconds.
    The craft can't be driven remotely, it will have to fly autonomously, using its own sensor suite to determine how to fly. The round trip 20 minute delay with Earth means steering the craft from mission control would be impossible.
    Huge Thanks to Patreon Supporters:
    Philipp Volgger, Chris Vargas, Ron Neal, Alfred Wallace, Colin Bellmore, Michael Krugman, James Knight, Donal Botkin, Sam Lutfi, Mohammed Al Sahaf, Kevin Beavers, Chuck Lauer Vose, Bryan Baker, James Wong, kkm, Manuel Zürcher, Tige Thorman, Jasper Xin, Leah Howard, Daniel Milum, Mathias Göransson, Stan Presolski, Lyvann Ferrusca, Arjun Chakroborty, June Kang, Listen Money Matters, Pindex, Joar Wandborg, DALE HORNE, Parker Linn, Roberto Rezende
    Jonny Hyman was a legend in editing, animation, filming, and sound design for this video.

    Published on 12 days ago


    1. lamixaney

      why that bottom pack is covered by yellow shinny coil or smthg ?

    2. D R

      2:24 you totally thought you were going to get yelled at lol "Look with your eyes, not your hands"

    3. Rider0fBuffalo

      Veritasium is where the best tech reporting is at! Do these things have multiple copies of os and other software... How do they handle mission critical processing and memory with the higher probability of cosmic bit flips associated with space travel and thinner atmospheres?

    4. p s

      Nein! Doch! Oooh XD

    5. Zane Gifford

      Do you think a craft like this, if in the vicinity, to clean the solar panels of opportunity like dust storms in the past have or do you think the cold has already damaged the electronics to where the rover is unusable?

    6. Joe Rohle

      Please please please please please please collaborate with Mark Rober

    7. zé

      Ok, they can mimic the mars gravity on flight forces, but they can't on accelerometer sensor. Good luck control engineers of autonomous flight!

    8. Christopher Bouchard

      Its so sexy when the Asain lady talks nerdy..

    9. Matt Brine

      I realy do hope it all works out and get some data from our little flying buddy. ALSO Not only would having the craft take a "Selfie" of the rover its deployed from perhaps give the public something to look at and feel good about, but I imagine it'll provide a number of tests so long as the picture actually is recieved (I imagine tests such as : Does it (the helicopter) work? Does the camera(s) work? Is the rover ok? Can we fly stably enough to take pictures? What is the area around the rover like?)

    10. Woei Leong Chan

      What are those horns at the hub of the blades?

    11. Glen Petherick

      Looking in the comments for GPS and Return To Home drone jokes.............

    12. Discordian

      Element 42.0. The answer to the question, and a factor of 10 off of 420. I was already subscribed, but now I'm bell iconed. JK, I love your detailed information, I need more.

    13. Heroic Observer

      (before watching video) How is a helicopter supposed to fly in mars, where there is no atmosphere?

    14. EddieStyle

      Ahh such a good video again!

    15. Chris Hanline

      2:59 - that is the laugh you hear just before The Joker pushes the button on the device in his hand.

    16. uncle_creepy27

      Hey gravity offload like they did when they were pretending to have landed on the moon

    17. uncle_creepy27

      Let this guy go to mars😜

    18. Oscar Thorpe

      that craft sounds really cool. and as a RC helicopter pilot, i want to have a go.

    19. AMRISH R

      even a smallest of error can cost in this mission

    20. AMRISH R

      i always thought why? haven't they send a drone to other planets but now a why? they haven't done it before

    21. Cetok01

      Interesting. I hope NASA will give the public all the raw photos it takes. They could probably use the Rover's claw to recover and upright it if the wind blows it around, and the MH could do a flyover before landing to blow dust off the Rover's solar panels (or will it be nuclear-powered?).

    22. YouTube Champions

      going to mars LOL!

    23. Aniruddha rao

      Goes to Pasadena but doesn't meet Sheldon! WHAT!!!!

    24. Mike Collins

      How will this craft handle being tipped on its side due to landing on rough ground?

      1. Mike Collins

        @Thomas Frühwirth - not according to the pictures from the rovers that are already there. I can only assume they have put the smarts into the copter to make it examine the ground carefully before landing. Clever stuff if they have.

      2. Thomas Frühwirth

        Mike Collins same question here... how will it launch from an angled surface? How can it land there? Is mars mostly flat so we don’t have to care?

    25. Perry J

      Step 1. Go to YT Search Step 2. Search this keyword: Mimi Kid Art Step 3. Enjoy! First Flight on Another Planet! We live and breathe words. .... It was books that made me feel that perhaps I was not completely alone. They could be honest with me, and I with them. Reading your words, what you wrote, how you were lonely sometimes and afraid, but always brave; the way you saw the world, its colors and textures and sounds, I felt--I felt the way you thought, hoped, felt, dreamt.

      1. Fijian Candy


    26. You Know

      Oh emigrants developed n created technology....

    27. Ryan Marshall

      I laughed when the guy made the noise imitating the blade noise but then it cut to the craft and I was like yeah he got it right 😂

    28. Isaac L-L

      Aircraft being there to help astronauts? P1: so you’re a pilot too? What did you fly? P2: I flew my modified Cessna 172... P1: laughs at P2 P2: …on Mars

    29. Ryan Meikle

      did anyone notice they stole the chamber goku trains in

    30. Lazarus The adventurer

      Amazing video!!! Thank you Derek!!

    31. Mugurel Teodor Andrici

      Does vantablack have special temperature absorbtion properties knowing that it is soo black that sun radiation should not be so much absorbed?

    32. D G

      Aerigon: Let's make the most expensive drone at $250 000 ... Nasa: Hold my space balls.. $23 million for 90 sec flight time. ... I know technically its not a drone but with all the sensors and whatnot it may as well be.

    33. nanosun

      How about some kind of air balloon with ManShell obama's "Package" hanging down to scare up any life forms even STD's ???

    34. Sean Lazar

      Thank you for not watering down any of the science. These are great interviews!

    35. Áureo

      Great to see your videos are still coming and as interesting as always!! thanks for all the years of great content, Derek!

    36. Silva

      Breaking the sound barrier by the tips would be damaging enough on earth but, like you said, mars has less air so I'm curious to know the specifics behind that. Could you follow this up through a comment or another video detailing how sound would work on mars as there is less air? I mean I can obviously tell that there will be less sound due to lack of moving particles. I'm more curious to what the extremes are on that side of the.....hmm, how do you call that....... other side of the dark matter? Ah who cares, I'm just curious :3

    37. Isambardify

      Aerogel was too heavy but they found room for a great big NASA sticker? Who is going to read that!?

    38. AngelLestat2

      just NASA wasting money for nothing.. because it seem pointless in comparison with hydrogen buoyancy vehicles using fuel cells.

      1. Sion Paddy

        Waste of money? They could use the drone to scan Mars much more quickly and easier than using rovers.

    39. Boris T.

      This guy is awesome give educational and great videos and he does not even moneytize his chanel's videos !! Woow

    40. Neeraj Saini

      it should have on sight cage opening system with protect its blades.

    41. Neeraj Saini

      hi what if while flying it accidentally fall .how they are going to protect the system?

      1. MrTurboTash

        It's built to withstand 80g's on launch from earth. being that light weight and that tough, it would need to hit mars surface at over mach 3 to take damage

    42. Bassem B.

      It's so weight sensitive that even aerogel is too heavy to incorporate!


      where is your another planet.

    44. theja srinivas

      Why cant they use vacuum insulation....and how they control the asymmetrical torque at that RPM ranges

    45. Z Fallen

      I'm wondering if LIFI could be an option for sending the remote singal, hmm...

    46. Robert Trujillo

      Not gonna lie, this one almost put me to 😴

    47. 89 Alpha

      2:59 When you realize your gf is cheating on you.

    48. Adeboye Grillo

      My great granny is so old and wise and I usually ask her questions for clarification when I doubt some things. I asked my great granny if these things are really what they claim. She laughed and replied, "We have way too many _domestic_ problems already and all we do is fantasize. That's yet another problem on its own". Then, I got the message immediately.

    49. hartsy50

      Have they tested it in a wind?? I have RC Helicopters like that, the wind will make the rotors hit each other, especially when turning in a wind.

    50. Michael Phillips

      Didn't these guys watch John Carter, they show exactly what flying machines work on Barsoom.

    51. QuantumBraced

      90 seconds, are you kidding me? Why even bother. Send a drone to Titan, you can fly it for half an hour with the atmospheric density and gravity there.

      1. Sean Chang

        It rain methane on Titan, so there is that.

    52. QuantumBraced

      My PC fans can spin at 3500 RPM, so... I'm not impressed. :p

    53. TheCrossfire951

      Fist FIght on Animal Planet


      12:22 pretty badass that Gronk found a job so soon after his retirement 😝😝😝

    55. Leahpar Suidualc

      And now ... imagine a Space-X Starship filled with a motherlode of crafts like this plus sponsorship for those nations that normally can not afford the prices to launch stuff into space and beyond, but actually can deliver crafts on that level of know-how. - Some decades ago, this thought would have been a drug-driven overly fantastic delusion, ... but in 2019? It became a possibility. Ain't that mesmerizing???

    56. S G

      90 seconds is a long time?? what? Thats sucks! So they will spend milions for 90 seconds flyght? What the point. You know with all that money they waste on going to mars they can fix the earth and all the ppl dying of anger of the whole earth. Ppl are not thinking. Why go to try to go live on mars when we know we cant instead of making our planet better.

      1. S G

        @Sean Chang except our world is not a cave so speeding billions on going to mars instead of billion on the making earth a better place is stupid. Our stupid. Our ocean is becoming trash. You never heard about the 6m continent?

      2. Sean Chang

        With that thought we will never get out of the cave.

    57. 0 1

      just insane what these people do, amazing!!

    58. Flearther McPlane

      Drone on Mars? When will the stupid wake up and see that nothing is going to Mars? No one has ever been 'to the Moon'. No one is on an ISS. No one and nothing is or ever has been to Mars. PERIOD!

      1. Sean Chang

        And all those airplanes are fake.

    59. Steven B.

      I know this is going to be an unpopular statement, but I feel someone needs to play the devils advocate. All of his questions were pertinent, however it must have slipped his mind to ask how much a vehicle that they admit is not meant for further scientific discovery of Mars (other than to see if it'll work at all), can only be used once a day for 90 seconds, costs. Though I think it is a novel concept, I also think that wastefully spending millions of dollars in labor/design/fabrication for a vehicle admittedly not meant for the further exploration of Mars is stupid, especially when they admit they can mimic Mars atmospheric conditions here. The costs should be weighed, because the scientific adage "we do it because we can" isn't enough to offset the costs to the taxpayer who is left funding such wasteful/pointless missions.

      1. Sean Chang

        Baby steps, baby steps.

    60. Old Conspiracy Dude

      I can't imagine how you would land the helicopter- once you get near the ground the dust would kick up and all that energy in the blades would unload at once from the quasi atmospheric effect.

    61. Abderrahim AOURIR

      03:00 a new meme clip just born

    62. Txepetxcc

      Aerogel weight was too much? Really ?

    63. womr89

      What type of battery will be used? Lipo and Lion has to few charge cycles?

    64. intertr0ns

      Looking forward to google street view Mars edition

    65. Paul N

      Finally a better video, thank!

    66. Tk.M

      There is no actual use for it.

    67. Vlad Quake

      How did they test the gyro & sensor fusion of Mars magnetic field?

      1. Woei Leong Chan

        They are not using magnetometer.

    68. madcap magician

      SO question you may be able to get an answer to, why did they choose battery power instead of a small nuclear type power system that could provide its own heat and not need to be recharged?

    69. Charles-A Rovira

      I bet a couple of our old KH-11 satellites (like the kind _gifted_ to *Google* ) making trips *'round Mars* would provide pretty good resolution.

    70. Stephan Cote

      Why not use a blimp?