First Flight on Another Planet!

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  • Published on Aug 10, 2019
  • 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.

Comments • 4 303

  • Boris T.
    Boris T. 4 hours ago

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

  • Neeraj Saini
    Neeraj Saini 5 hours ago

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

  • Neeraj Saini
    Neeraj Saini 5 hours ago

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

  • Bassem B.
    Bassem B. 5 hours ago

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

  • DURGESH KUMAR
    DURGESH KUMAR 7 hours ago

    where is your another planet.

  • theja srinivas
    theja srinivas 7 hours ago

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

  • Z Fallen
    Z Fallen 7 hours ago

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

  • Robert Trujillo
    Robert Trujillo 10 hours ago

    Not gonna lie, this one almost put me to 😴

  • 89 Alpha
    89 Alpha 10 hours ago +1

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

  • Adeboye Grillo
    Adeboye Grillo 11 hours ago

    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.

  • hartsy50
    hartsy50 13 hours ago

    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.

  • Michael Phillips
    Michael Phillips 17 hours ago

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

  • QuantumBraced
    QuantumBraced 17 hours ago

    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.

    • Sean Chang
      Sean Chang Hour ago

      It rain methane on Titan, so there is that.

  • QuantumBraced
    QuantumBraced 17 hours ago

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

  • TheCrossfire951
    TheCrossfire951 17 hours ago

    Fist FIght on Animal Planet

  • 2MANYWWWWWWWWWWWWS4U
    2MANYWWWWWWWWWWWWS4U 18 hours ago

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

  • Leahpar Suidualc
    Leahpar Suidualc 19 hours ago

    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???

  • S G
    S G 21 hour ago

    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.

    • S G
      S G 18 minutes ago

      @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?

    • Sean Chang
      Sean Chang Hour ago

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

  • 0 1
    0 1 23 hours ago

    just insane what these people do, amazing!!

  • 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!

    • Sean Chang
      Sean Chang Hour ago

      And all those airplanes are fake.

  • Steven B.
    Steven B. Day ago

    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.

  • 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.

  • Abderrahim AOURIR

    03:00 a new meme clip just born

  • Txepetxcc
    Txepetxcc Day ago

    Aerogel weight was too much? Really ?

  • womr89
    womr89 Day ago

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

  • intertr0ns
    intertr0ns Day ago

    Looking forward to google street view Mars edition

  • Paul N
    Paul N Day ago

    Finally a better video, thank!

  • Tk.M
    Tk.M Day ago

    There is no actual use for it.

  • Vlad Quake
    Vlad Quake Day ago +1

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

  • madcap magician
    madcap magician Day ago

    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?

  • 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.

  • Stephan Cote
    Stephan Cote Day ago

    Why not use a blimp?

  • Coin Hodler
    Coin Hodler Day ago

    🤔When you fly a drone on Mars the signal will not be in real time,. It takes the speed of light 4min to travel to Mars and 4min back!!

  • Krzychu K.
    Krzychu K. Day ago

    thunderf00t

  • rbwannasee
    rbwannasee Day ago +1

    It'll get stuck in the only tree on Mars.

  • Arashi Mokuzai
    Arashi Mokuzai Day ago

    This dinky little copter costs more than a full size one.

  • Julius Sokolowski
    Julius Sokolowski Day ago +2

    Only a true aeronautical engineer calls transonic flow "funky"! My kinda guy!

  • Gaimz
    Gaimz Day ago

    lol 90 seconds in flight.

  • Jānis Grīnvalds

    Maybe I would add some charged spring mechanism to launch it for easier takeoff.
    As another concept I would consider pneumatical rocket as "bouncer"... but retractable helicopter blades as autogiro landing(as maple seeds).

  • prabanjan raja
    prabanjan raja Day ago +1

    i have exam today at 9:45 am yet i am here watching this at 1:10 Am because its so interesting than what i study man i wish studying can be interesting ;)

  • Paul J
    Paul J Day ago +1

    This little toy will never actually see flight in mars, but enjoy the trickery. Oh and before you say, so these engineers are in on it, no they are not and that is the beauty of the deception.
    Now on to the more interesting part, your ineffective insults or Ad hominem's towards me.

  • Sridhar Bheeman
    Sridhar Bheeman Day ago

    How is it going to land and change direction ?

  • Adenzel
    Adenzel Day ago +1

    They made their own wind tunnel using computer fans... both wonderful and scary how they hack things together like this with of the shelf parts, determination and a generous sprinkling of genius

  • confuseatronica
    confuseatronica Day ago

    first powered flight on another planet is the MSL Skycrane on Mars. It hovered in place, dropped the rover, then flew up and to the side in a controlled way before it crashed. That has to count.
    need another term to cover what you mean- maybe "aerodynamic flight" or "wingborne flight"

    • Sean Chang
      Sean Chang Hour ago

      Maybe it doesn't count if it crashes.

  • petegalvs
    petegalvs Day ago

    Is it possible to get a low altitude orbit satellite on Mars?

  • Eng. EAR JR
    Eng. EAR JR Day ago

    Pior e um cara desse acreditar que fomos a outro planeta.

  • David Davids
    David Davids Day ago

    some info. in case you cannot see it for YOURSELF, this is another sillyass idea, foisted on us, by Big Science. (it ranks up there with the, 'water on mars' LIE.) why is this true. the atmospheric density on mars is estimated to be .06% of earth's. in other words, .0006 times 101,325 pascals; = 608 pascals. there is almost NOTHING for rotors to push around, in order to make THRUST. a rotor speed of 2500 rpm will NOT do ANYTHING; 200,000 rpm MIGHT work. the weaker martian gravity does NOT make the atmosphere any more dense. maybe someone should tell the fools, at JPL. googletranslate water on mars lmao
    flash-player.org/channel/7UcQuHYmTrE-video.html

    • Sean Chang
      Sean Chang Hour ago

      Day that I take a FLASH-PLAYER post as truth.

  • John 2018
    John 2018 Day ago

    All they need to do now is to research how to put food in the bellies of millions of starving people out there, and how to spread around, more equitably and productively, some of the squillions hoarded by the gangster élites that control this planet.

  • Justin Hollohead

    You went to JPL or fantasy land, this is what happens in the fanatical world of the globe society. CGI, doctored photos and no tangible proof they even left low earth orbit, what a fantasy,

  • Robert Carrillo
    Robert Carrillo Day ago

    such a good video. well done.

  • Mohammad Al Adham
    Mohammad Al Adham 2 days ago

    They don't want the propellers to break the speed of sound, but isn't that harder on Mars since the speed of sound would be slower than that on Earth because of the lower pressure?

  • Mikhail Martinez
    Mikhail Martinez 2 days ago

    I understood seventy percent of this but loved a hundred percent of it

  • mak c
    mak c 2 days ago

    Plz get off all your blue shirts
    We are sick of seeing them

  • PHYSICS PALACE
    PHYSICS PALACE 2 days ago

    flash-player.org/channel/9l25VAJmFiA-video.html

  • thisismycoolnickname

    Somebody's playing around with the flashdrive at 0:41 lol

  • Dark GT
    Dark GT 2 days ago

    There are some things I don't like in the model. First, why spending so much power on heating? They could use the radioactive decay of some elements for heating, also the battery can be charged with some atomic battery. They didn't resolve one recurring problem that is shared with the rovers too, the cleaning of the sun panels. When it get dusty, is no longer efficient as before. I bet there is a way to clean the panels. Anyway , that's is one step in the right direction for future exploration.

  • hasnain mustak
    hasnain mustak 2 days ago

    Elon Musk: I need to organize a drone race there.

  • Andrè
    Andrè 2 days ago

    Yeah right. We dont have proof nor actual video of leaving earth behind. Full video. Missing :)) its to be or not now!! People think that small clip or shuttle going to the sky high up is space. Its not. THEY CANT get higher :))

  • Yiyi Yan
    Yiyi Yan 2 days ago

    This is such an inspiring video to future aircraft designer, that my blood starts to boil thinking about solving these challenges and seeing this vehicle flying on Mars! Thank you very much Veritasium, please keep motivating and enlightening future generations to explore the unknowns!

  • The canary Is dead
    The canary Is dead 2 days ago

    Craters that would be inaccessible to the rover, or that deep hole near the south pole, would be great places to fly. One of those deep trenches May yet have traces of water, frozen just beneath the surface. Where there is water, there is life.

  • Сварожічъ Х'Арійскі

    NASA has the budget of 27 mil a day! And this is what they came up with? Lol

  • thenerdnetwork
    thenerdnetwork 2 days ago

    Hmm... sure seems like the $10 BILLION they spent on this project is worth it... meanwhile you can buy a drone at wal mart for under $100. I will tell ya what, if NASA cuts me a check for $5 billion I will tell them right now what they will find on that planet, spoiler... its red, rocky, dusty... and no life on it whatsoever... make the check payable to cash...ty.

  • Deepyn dixies
    Deepyn dixies 2 days ago

    This mission is going to be a mess

  • Oracle Davis
    Oracle Davis 2 days ago

    Attached two small Zeppelin shape balloon to provide lift for the device.
    Go figure it out.

  • Cryptic Thunder
    Cryptic Thunder 2 days ago

    Wasting my tax money on this stupid thing when it could be going to real projects like going back to the moon.

  • binaryalgorithm
    binaryalgorithm 2 days ago +1

    I'm thinking short flights/hops, recharge solar, repeat.

  • DeinLieblingsTimmey
    DeinLieblingsTimmey 2 days ago

    U can visit mars with google earth (erath, moon, mars) - I found a place which was hand blurred with typical tools like photoshop or fireworks. It looks so strange, because it as not a quadrat, you have seen the brush tool circle here and there. I got interested in this space and zommed the max in. Near the hand blured line you can clearly see buildings. 90° angles, like "our" human buildings, near by near, some in the same size some a bit more complex.Since I found this place - I "know" we are already on mars and we have also build already buildings which are important enought to blur them by hand. I think its Tesla - or military - or both. But I guess its tesla. This is why I say to myself in that moment I have some dollars to spend for, I will buy as many tesla stocks as I can because I already know they only "try" to reach mars for public in 2020 and it will, oh wonder, be a success, and in 5 years it will go official and the stocks will raise hard.

  • Juan Carlos Santilli

    Are you sure coaxial rotors are more efficient??

  • Coven of the Arks
    Coven of the Arks 2 days ago

    ---a story by a child who lost his desire to become a scientist - I WAS ONLY 10 IN THE 80'S, MY PARENTS BOUGHT ME A ROBOT, THAT JUST HAD A NUMBER PAD. THE ROBOT WOULD GO WHATEVER FEET I SPECIFIED, TURN A SPECIFIED DEGREE AND SEARCH AREAS BASED ON MY INSTRUCTIONS. IT WAS SO COOL TO WATCH. BUT AS A TEN YEAR OLD, THEY HAD NO CAMERAS OR AVOIDANCE SENSORS and, of course, no GPS.. I WAS IMPRESSED WITH IT. BUT ONE DAY WE WENT ON VACATION FOR ONE OR 2 WEEKS. WHILE WE WERE GONE , SOMEHOW, THE PILOT LIGHT IN OUR OIL HEATER FLAMED OUT. THE HOUSE , THE OIL, AND THE WATER IN THE PIPES FROZE. THE WATER EXPANDED, CRACKING THE PIPES, THUS, FLOODING THE HOUSE. THE UNFROZEN WATER FLOWED EVERYWHERE, TURNING THE HOUSE INTO A DISNEY MOVIE, "ICE QUEEN" OR "FROZEN" . MY LITTLE ROBOT WAS IN THE BASEMENT ON THE POOL TABLE, THE WATER PIPES EXPLODED ONTO IT AND FROZE EVERTHING IN ICE. EVERYTHING CRACKED , RIPPED APART, OR SHATTERED. IT WAS ONE OF THE WORST DAYS OF MY FAMILIE'S LIFE. I TRIED TO FIND ANOTHER ROBOT LIKE THAT ONE, BUT THEY DISCONTINUED MAKING THEM. SADDEST DAY OF MY LIFE. IT WAS LIKE HAVING MY OWN NASA ROBOT, ONLY I KNEW THE CODES TO ENTER INSTRUCTIONS. I CRIED FOR MONTHS (REMEMBER I WAS ONLY 9 OR 10).

  • shivam suri
    shivam suri 2 days ago

    Hey there ! My dear friend. Awesome coverage on this mars helicopter. One thing I would like to know though, is 1.) what material has been used in the manufacture of propeller blades? 2.) Considered it would be flying at Mach 0.7, how would the aerodynamic parameters be concerned, with reference to the square shaped fuselage?

  • Coven of the Arks
    Coven of the Arks 2 days ago

    GRAVITY OFFLOAD !? Because the atmosphere is much thinner on mars, this helicopter, tethered to a helium blimp or a gas blimp lighter than the air on mars would succeed in creating a longer flight time. ?. On earth many helicopter drone enthusiasts do not tether their heli drones to helium blimps, because they say it will cause too much drag. BUT ON MARS, WITH THE ATMOSPHERE THINNER, The drag wouldn't be as much of an issue and the Mars Heli drone could stay airborne much longer. I may be wrong. If NASA could explain why they can't float the heli drone for a minute or two, then release it; , it would be greatly appreciated. Heli , hell, shell, spinning, planet, hurricane, watch the poles of the helli. Trademark-- Need to heal, seel, shelly, helli, spinny, whiny. Space hurricane anyone?

  • Coven of the Arks
    Coven of the Arks 2 days ago

    VE (veritas) .In Roman mythology, Veritas, meaning truth, is the goddess of truth, a daughter of Chronos, the Titan of Time. THEY CALL THEMSELVES VERITASIUM LIKE A CHEMICAL. FUNNY.

  • Quantum Brotherhood
    Quantum Brotherhood 2 days ago

    Awesome

  • Oathblivion
    Oathblivion 2 days ago

    It's super cool that they didn't use aerogel if it wasn't necessary because of weight. Those guys meant every word when they said every part was considered for weight. I can't wait to see what this thing can accomplish when it gets to Mars.
    edit: And it's just a tech demo? Maybe, but I think that's underestimating the potential of what 90s of flight with a color camera can uncover. :O

  • Jake10454
    Jake10454 2 days ago +4

    The most important question: How long until we can fly it over Opportunity to blow the dust off her solar panels and revive her?

  • Robust Misconception

    I wonder if that 20 minutes latency problem can be fixed via a simulation with a memory buffer. We have pretty good cameras, I assume it is possible for an elite team of programmers to create a sort of 90 second simulation to be used for each hop. The pilot would have the option to discard the sequence of commands or send it to the drone to execute. I mean we know all these variables as air pressure and gravity in mars, I guess they should be able to work something out if they really want to be able to fly it manually on occasion.

  • Matt Juro
    Matt Juro 2 days ago

    This topic would be perfect for a SmarterEveryDay collab... Destin did a whole series on the mechanics of helicopter flight.

  • Rudy2k5
    Rudy2k5 2 days ago

    I would love to be on a Veritasium Airline ^_^

  • John Leicester
    John Leicester 3 days ago

    You should send a Dirigible too

  • Kiki Tay
    Kiki Tay 3 days ago

    in your face! Thunderf00t!

  • CyberNonymous G
    CyberNonymous G 3 days ago

    *the last day of final*

  • Марко Пејић

    I have one question, can He ballon fly on Mars?

  • Qishi Li
    Qishi Li 3 days ago

    2:59 I don't get it. What's so funny?

  • ben3847
    ben3847 3 days ago

    the martians gonna be spooked af

  • Alex Whitton
    Alex Whitton 3 days ago

    5:43 imagine if you were an alien on Mars and you just hear that coming over the hill.

  • Noah Nobody
    Noah Nobody 3 days ago

    Good'ol Jack Parsons Laboratories.

  • TheBurek
    TheBurek 3 days ago

    You're overeastimating smartphone batteries. Around 4 Wh is the average nowadays, so that would be more like 10 batteries, not 3.

  • v.v.v.v jojo
    v.v.v.v jojo 3 days ago

    Tax money is wasted😥

  • Rajas Bhide
    Rajas Bhide 3 days ago +1

    I really feel bad that such a great informative video gets barely a million views and a minecraft video get 10 million... says more about us as people than about the content creators

  • Richard Deese
    Richard Deese 3 days ago

    Thanks! Wow! Between this & the Titan Dragonfly, NASA's getting bold! Way to go, folks! I'm lovin' it! The possibilities are endless. I can't wait until these missions get first flight. Keep up the great work. Thanks again. 𝓡𝓲𝓴𝓴𝓲 𝓣𝓲𝓴𝓴𝓲.

  • True Crony
    True Crony 3 days ago

    I rather see a fleet of weather balloons and/or quad-copters.

  • Prodipta Ghosh
    Prodipta Ghosh 3 days ago

    See Bob Balaram is an INDIAN he should be in ISRO

  • Freddy Krueger
    Freddy Krueger 3 days ago

    it would be great if they could find the Beagle 2 on Mars.

  • Freddy Krueger
    Freddy Krueger 3 days ago

    A Mars a day,
    Helps you work, rest & play.

  • AwsomeLikeYou Bro
    AwsomeLikeYou Bro 3 days ago +14

    3:00 my fake friend laugh be like😂✌️

  • maskyschannel
    maskyschannel 3 days ago +1

    Funky Aerodynamics should be the name of a band

  • Cosmopolitan
    Cosmopolitan 3 days ago

    Anybody notice that Derek has a cameraman?

  • Jamesc00ls0x
    Jamesc00ls0x 3 days ago +1

    Another amazing and educational video from my boi!

  • Jan Sten Adámek
    Jan Sten Adámek 3 days ago

    Seeing this helicopter, I wonder what has happened to that Mars plane. I heard about it years ago, yet it never took flight.

  • annarboriter
    annarboriter 3 days ago

    and which other planetary and lunar surfaces are potential candidates for this sort of drone craft?