First Flight on Another Planet!

  • 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 • 4 176

  • darthspeaks
    darthspeaks 11 hours ago

    The martian soil is about 15% iron.
    Imagine the amount of iron those magnets in those electronic drone would collect around them props.

  • dreday92x
    dreday92x 12 hours ago

    so fascinating, i love how these scientists keep pretending we dont know how to create levatating planes or that mars is not full of life just like the moon, the same life that causes us to not visit the moon anymore...

  • NeonPinkful
    NeonPinkful 12 hours ago

    The most amazing fact about this thing is the price efficiency! I imagine a rover is quite a lot more expensive .

  • Judess 69er
    Judess 69er 13 hours ago

    why don't they just use atomic batteries in the drone o.o' i mean its not like its gonna be around humans on mars o.o' probably wont ever have to recharge the thing in its lifetime

  • kim ahlmann
    kim ahlmann 13 hours ago

    hehe 11 o clock mars time

  • jbbudish
    jbbudish 13 hours ago

    I could make it lighter. (Could also carry more sensors and equipment, with longer flight time) Terrible design really. Why!?!

  • jack jones
    jack jones 13 hours ago

    Cydonia Mensa flight ha ha

  • Just TR Stuffs
    Just TR Stuffs 13 hours ago

    Balaram knows his stuff!

  • Thomas Queiroz
    Thomas Queiroz 13 hours ago +1

    I would like to know why didn’t they choose a fixed wing drone instead of the rotating wing model. It looks like it would have quite more flight time, plus they could use solar panels on the huge wings, providing power during the flight. I know there are no runways on mars, but there are solutions to that.

  • CoReeYe
    CoReeYe 14 hours ago

    china gonna watch this video and copy all the tech

    • SheLovesItWhenYouPullOutThatPhenomenalDissertation
      SheLovesItWhenYouPullOutThatPhenomenalDissertation 14 hours ago

      there isn't really anything good here. in fact, there are a number of things that could be improved with knowledge and funding beyond what Nasa is already getting that the military complex isn't siphoning away.

  • Thang Laka
    Thang Laka 14 hours ago

    _Burmese Lady explained good_

  • Imoisili Danene
    Imoisili Danene 15 hours ago

    I wonder how that sound will wake up those aliens from sleep on Mars hummm😕😕

  • Yassine
    Yassine 15 hours ago

    i wonder to see how this helicopter will endure mars storms

  • Jyoti Prakash Paramanik

    Any Indians here? is this scientist "bob balaram"(chief engg of mars helicopter) is an india(NRI)?These south indians are one of the smartest species on earth.also In Isro most of the scientists are south indians. Hats off to you are doing a phenomenal job.

  • teoman caglar
    teoman caglar 17 hours ago

    why dont they try a zeppelin covered with thin flexible solar panel

  • No One
    No One 17 hours ago

    Martians will be like, ahh here we go again.

  • Richard King
    Richard King 18 hours ago

    Wouldn't a dirigible craft be a lot simpler?

  • George Costarica
    George Costarica 18 hours ago

    The camera man has parkinsons

  • Денис Наумов

    Почему интересно не сделали вертолёт спутником ровера? С «вертолётной» площадкой на ровере и дополнительной возможностью беспроводной зарядки вертолёта от солнечных батарей / батарей ровера.
    Кто сможет корректно на английский перевести - переведите плиз, буду благодарен.

    ARITRA MUKHERJEE 18 hours ago

    Also good to know that the chief engineer is an IITian

    ARITRA MUKHERJEE 18 hours ago

    The first flight on earth lasted 59 seconds, the first flight on mars gonna last 90 seconds (at least that is expected). That's a really long haul!

    FIGHTTHECABLE 19 hours ago

    So I am sure this has been studied and all difficulties answered. Yet I ask:
    -when the Helicopter lands, creating dust, how is dust going to be kept off the PVP?
    -will the weight of sand disturb flight charasteristics?
    -will sand at take off and landing not sand through those blades, as they are spinning at 23'000 - 29'000 rpm?
    -are all the sensors (i.e. Gyroscope) calibrated to the Mars Atmosphere?
    -will UV radiation have an effect on the carbon fiber blades?
    -why did you not send 2, incase one fails?

  • Ramiel
    Ramiel 19 hours ago

    Why wouldn't they use a nuclear thermal generator as the power source?
    Keeps itself worm, could fly for years, send a signal to Earth, could fly at night, could fly on the poles, craters, canyons, with aerial photography it could technically give us a google street view of the planet... Nop batteries.

  • Fernando Soltero
    Fernando Soltero 20 hours ago

    To make people believe that yea the things flying around is the just new helicopter

  • Billy Bob John
    Billy Bob John 20 hours ago +2

    Cool, however I've always wondered why a blimp was never considered?

  • Савл Апостолов

    NOT SR-71, but MiG-25 absolute record. Not 25,9 km, but 37 650 m. So...

  • Chris Robles
    Chris Robles 21 hour ago +1

    I like there are exactly 4096 comments at this point of me watching this video.

  • Roxelle a
    Roxelle a 22 hours ago +3

    my uni physics teacher at usyd used to always talk about this guy and how they became friends when he was undertaking his phd program.

  • Datataker 10
    Datataker 10 22 hours ago

    Balloons don't work on Mars, why would a helicopter ?

  • Noah Granger
    Noah Granger 23 hours ago

    Question: would any sort of fixed wing air craft be feasible on mars, i imagine the low atmospheric pressure would make lift generation difficult?

    • Noah Granger
      Noah Granger 15 hours ago +1

      Yes, a craft would have to fly at great speed. I wonder could our lord and savior musk, skip a craft off and around the atmosphere as has been done on earth...

    • SheLovesItWhenYouPullOutThatPhenomenalDissertation
      SheLovesItWhenYouPullOutThatPhenomenalDissertation 15 hours ago +1

      If you design it as a VTOL, and have like 90+% of it be airfoil surface, sure.
      How are you going to get a VTOL flying wing, though, is the question.. and it would need to fly at close to or greater than mach 0.7 on mars, have its own lightweight fuel, essentially you are thinking of making a gliding rocket.

      Now a high speed rail system would be much more suited for Mars as Lord Elon won't have to worry about pumping down a massive tube there!

  • danny Dts
    danny Dts 23 hours ago +1

    Release helium balloon in dense atmosphere and helicopter in dummy thin air. Genius

  • The Great Green Bus - Skoolie Life

    Cant wait to see an animation of it in action 🤣

  • Nicolas Eubanks
    Nicolas Eubanks Day ago

    I’m just here to contest your “highest a plane has ever flown” comment of 85k ft in the SR71. By multiple definitions this is wrong. Several jet aircraft have made it over 100k ft.. F15 up to 103k ft, Mig 25 up to 123k ft. Don’t even @ me with ceiling definitions. “Plane has ever flown” does not mean “plane has ever been capable of cruising at”.

  • Иван Барынкин

    I do not want to seem like an upstart, but why did the engineers use the bdc motor instead of the bldc? Efficiency of the bldc engine is larger and more compact.

  • Karan Shah
    Karan Shah Day ago

    What if this thing topples over? How does it get back in the air?

  • Karan Shah
    Karan Shah Day ago

    This video has the best comments ever! Make sure to read all above and below this😍 Video. Ofcourse. Watch that first.

  • Ali Soukarieh
    Ali Soukarieh Day ago +1

    Can you make a video abt piezoelectricity plz :))

  • karthik krishna
    karthik krishna Day ago

    This could be the data analysis for the future nuclear powered drone, which can probably cover the entire mars at one charge.

  • Benjamín Ruiz
    Benjamín Ruiz Day ago +1

    I really love your videos! But I would love to get visuals for the scales and numbers presented.
    As non-native speaker it's sometimes hard to follow a bunch of big numbers in a row :)

  • Shikhar Bhargava

    Your reflection in the mirror behind you a little distracting. However, a nice and informative video.

  • cryptout
    cryptout Day ago

    As a hobby drone enthusiasts I think this is awesome although I do think 90 seconds flight is a bit disappointing. 👍

    • SheLovesItWhenYouPullOutThatPhenomenalDissertation
      SheLovesItWhenYouPullOutThatPhenomenalDissertation 15 hours ago

      there is a LOT of room for improvement when it comes to batteries. and batteries that can take the temperature swings of mars. you should research that and improve upon power density!
      The little copter might be restricted by the lighter weight single crystal silicon solar panels, too. not the most efficient variety out there, but priority is light weight if you can't even use aerogel.

  • nam nguyen
    nam nguyen Day ago

    Tại sao không thiết kế pin năng lượng trên cánh của máy bay này

  • John Braddock
    John Braddock Day ago

    Shoot those are the coolest people in the world.

  • James Simmons
    James Simmons Day ago

    Good video but please stop with holding your index fingers up all the time. Just relax and speak. No need for anything more. And.... either grow a beard or shave but the two day old beard look that is so popular now really does suck. It makes men look like pussies.

  • Hassan Alqaimri
    Hassan Alqaimri Day ago +2

    ♦️ DR. DEREK I have suggest about way to access for light speed or 80 % from it...
    were i can suggest this on you alone doctor ❤️

  • Jake Britton
    Jake Britton Day ago

    Why would someone dislike this video??

  • John Connor
    John Connor Day ago

    thats thing isnt doing anything anywhere other than be used in clips on devon island

  • White Supremacist

    Derek Muller being the next Elon Musk for 16 minutes straight.

  • Conrad Bate
    Conrad Bate Day ago

    14:17 .. mate.. the purpose of this mission is to create a level of propaganda sufficient to get these pseudo scientific grant grabbing jokers playing 2.5x speed video at retards faking terminology to sound "speshul" to get themselves into the news.. from a helicopter perspective there is (effectively) NO atmosphere on mars.. you are dealing with 1/3rd the gravity but about 1/300th the atoms.. which means you're displacing the mass of the helicopter by shoving away.. nothing.. the only way you'd even have a chance is an ultra light arrangement using huge wings.. watching them use earth based rotors made me cringe.. almost as much as listening to her describe how a gyro they bought off ebay worked.. pretty much listening to her talk about the principle of captured Co2 (which is simply the principle behind your "loft insulation") - like she is some sort of Jedi is just a joke.. I can't cope with this crap honestly..

  • P Bebnowski
    P Bebnowski Day ago +1

    One question... what happens when the craft gets knocked over while recharging on the ground?

  • jim rose
    jim rose Day ago

    how does a helicopter achieve lift without atmosphere?

  • Xen Orac
    Xen Orac Day ago

    What is the camera/s like on this thing? Whats the fastest shutter speed etc?

  • TechPlasma
    TechPlasma Day ago

    It'd be cool if they were able to send this craft to go blow off the dust on the Opportunity and Spirit rovers

  • Jaswati
    Jaswati Day ago

    I like Veritasium being the 42.0 element.

  • Joe Public
    Joe Public Day ago

    How did they make those blades and how did they balance them?


    Does anybody know what the "chinese weight" that is referenced in the solid works mock-up of the propellar and motor configuration is? I can't find "chinese weight" referenced anywhere relating to prop design.

  • Person
    Person Day ago

    2:59 ... lmfao

  • mennucc
    mennucc Day ago

    how can U.S. scientists use kilograms and feet in the same conversation??

    • John Cena
      John Cena Day ago +1

      I dropped a weight of 10 kg on my feet

  • hell cat
    hell cat Day ago

    That bit about the blades reaching the speed of sound deserves a bit more words to it, because _of course_ it has been made, and damn was it crazy thing.
    From the XF-84H wiki ; "The XF-84H was almost certainly the loudest aircraft ever built, earning the nickname "Thunderscreech" as well as the "Mighty Ear Banger". On the ground "run ups", the prototypes could reportedly be heard 25 miles (40 km) away. Unlike standard propellers that turn at subsonic speeds, the outer 24-30 inches (61-76 cm) of the blades on the XF-84H's propeller traveled faster than the speed of sound even at idle thrust, producing a continuous visible sonic boom that radiated laterally from the propellers for hundreds of yards. The shock wave was actually powerful enough to knock a man down; an unfortunate crew chief who was inside a nearby C-47 was severely incapacitated during a 30-minute ground run. Coupled with the already considerable noise from the subsonic aspect of the propeller and the T40's dual turbine sections, the aircraft was notorious for inducing severe nausea and headaches among ground crews. In one report, a Republic engineer suffered a seizure after close range exposure to the shock waves emanating from a powered-up XF-84H."
    Lin Hendrix, one of the Republic test pilots assigned to the program, flew the aircraft once and refused to ever fly it again - he told the formidable Republic project engineer, "You aren't big enough and there aren't enough of you to get me in that thing again".


    Who are the 700 ungrateful humans that disliked this? What a shame.

  • black berry
    black berry Day ago

    Hey, what about prof. Rana Adhikari's jelly fish update from gravitational waves video.

  • Dark Energy 37
    Dark Energy 37 Day ago

    Question: What if we do Schrödinger's cat, but we use poison instead of a bomb. We then have another cat that is immune to the poison in the box. Is it still entangled from our perspective? Or is it universally unentangled from the poison-immune cat in the box? If it is the second one, how do we know the state without opening the box?

  • Fabrizio Vassallo

    This is SOOOOOOOOOOOO Cool.

  • Kendall Spivey
    Kendall Spivey Day ago

    I’m confused on the whole first powered flight thing what about the curiosity sky crane did it not fly?

  • zghvbn1
    zghvbn1 Day ago

    this is beautiful I can't wait!

  • Froman Abe
    Froman Abe Day ago

    Who gives a flying fart about a few snaps from Mars except for the thousands of exorbitantly-compensated engineers who make a handsome living from them. There is nothing on ANY other planet that we can't find here on earth. All the planets consist of the same elements. It would be ridiculous to mine anything on another planet since it costs billions to ferry it back to the earth. Space Exploration is just a meaningless hobby, nothing more. Of course it costs taxpayers hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars for absolutely no worthwhile purpose.

  • Daughter Diaries

  • redstone craft guy

    So what do they do when it fall over on Mars? How do they correct it? It's a pretty common issue that drone hobbyists deal with.

  • redstone craft guy

    3:46 yes and no. Yes, single rotor is more efficient. No, it's not more efficient because of it coaxial propeller configuration. Coaxial propeller configuration is actually less efficient than just using one rotor
    The reason why they went with the coaxial configuration is to cancel out the reaction torque create by the other one.

  • Patrick Blais
    Patrick Blais Day ago

    Nice video thanks.
    I'm wondering how ''aircraft'' designs would be in order to allow a lift of the aircraft in such low atmosphere density? I can only guess that our actual aircrafts would not even takeoff because of the wing design and mostly weight.

    • Patrick Blais
      Patrick Blais Day ago

      @Riccardo Orlando Me too if we speak fluids dynamics on other worlds. Though I worked in Aerospace for almost 10 years but that doesn't make me skilled enough to know which concept would be necessary to fly on Mars but that would be interesting to see one.

    • Riccardo Orlando
      Riccardo Orlando Day ago +1

      Our aircraft would definitely not work. I expect to make a plane work, you'd need massively oversized and aggressively pitched wings. I know very little of fluid dynamics, though.

  • Charlie Nixon
    Charlie Nixon Day ago +1

    For those who think he could get into Area 51, and that there may be some 'crazy tech that could end the world' and 'aliens' hidden there, here's your beliefs disproved.
    Firstly, Area 51 is a Black-World USAF Facility. Black-World Facilities have the highest levels of secrecy and defense, so anyone who is unauthorised to enter is basically dead. Straight away. Shoot first, ask questions later. Secondly, if he applied to get into Area 51, he'd have to go through many background and safety tests, and if he was allowed in, he'd automatically have to sign multiple NDAs and he wouldn't be allowed to film ANYTHING. Thirdly, if he was allowed in, he'd only be allowed access to the area he wanted to see. He wouldn't be allowed to see anywhere else. Even Area 51 employees don't have full clearance to the whole facility. Sorry, but no heads-ups from Veritasium from what's in there. Lastly, about what's in there, sorry, but no aliens. Only extremely classified, Black-level secrecy projects, that would only be declassified if it was an emergency.
    So, there ya go. I'd advise against going, if you don't want you, your family and over 1.7 million people getting arrested.

  • roj gosai
    roj gosai 2 days ago +2

    Why did I notice 6:14 ?

    *sorry*!, *god* Will you *forgive* me! for this unforgivable *sin*!!

  • Dbeaumont Resident
    Dbeaumont Resident 2 days ago

    I hope they use this helicopter to fly over some of the sand-covered rovers so they have a chance to power up again and resume their own missions. Hovering over their sand covered solar panels (still haven't figured out why they don't have wiper blades on them??) so their batteries can recharge again!

  • Peace PL
    Peace PL 2 days ago

    90 seconds flight time? Just design a glider.

    • Riccardo Orlando
      Riccardo Orlando Day ago

      With only 0.01 am of pressure? A feather would drop like a rock. What do you glide on?

  • Cyprian Guerra
    Cyprian Guerra 2 days ago

    So... What kind of threat protocols does it have and how will it defeat AMEE?