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 • 4 620

  • sheeeple
    sheeeple 14 minutes ago

    Need to add dust to that mars simulation. See if that thing survives.

  • John Hdn
    John Hdn 14 minutes ago

    Why do i feel this thing is going to fail badly...
    Would it survive first flight?

  • Demon Windu
    Demon Windu 7 hours ago

    7:06 hmmm, i got it, sure!

  • Zonnymaka
    Zonnymaka 11 hours ago

    Amazon is surely backing up the project

  • David Sciortino
    David Sciortino 11 hours ago

    Theres a few ways to get a battery much hotter. I'm sure they are on it

  • Vibhaath Chirukandoth
    Vibhaath Chirukandoth 19 hours ago +1

    We Indians who grew up with the "36 % of engineers in NASA are Indians" urban legend finally got to see an actual India engineer at NASA JPL.

  • Ceo Ontra
    Ceo Ontra Day ago

    amazing video man. this is crazy . it gives us hope

  • thedesk
    thedesk Day ago

    awesome sound

  • Alexey Trofym
    Alexey Trofym 2 days ago

    New motor!!!

  • Victor Augusto Kopsch Nunes

    Nice video.
    Lil correction, its about 8 to 10 smartphone batteries. Wich one have 3,5Ah, 4Ah. Sometimes 4,5Ah (Really good.)

    • Leo Vodica
      Leo Vodica Day ago

      iPhone 6s belike.... Yoooo, we got only 1715 mAh, we need some more :D

  • Alexey Trofym
    Alexey Trofym 2 days ago

    CR -Axial

  • antigravity 74100
    antigravity 74100 3 days ago

    Expect me to create new technology against gravity, approaching time.

  • mingming hui
    mingming hui 4 days ago

    What those two asians' names?

  • Siddhant Mishra
    Siddhant Mishra 4 days ago +1

    1 catch ...don’t compare this to a fuel driven helicopter ...rather compare this to a rather large sized motorised drone ...those blades spin at 3-4K rpm (the best of the best) Engineering behind drones and choppers are somewhat different yet they do the same work load of providing vertical lift ...

  • vishnu s
    vishnu s 4 days ago


  • Stu’Gotz
    Stu’Gotz 4 days ago

    How ridiculous,Are they serious.

  • Andre Fontes
    Andre Fontes 5 days ago

    With so much standard tech nowadays, supercharge, wireless charging, it is hard to believe 90s is the best flight time you can do, although on Mars atmosphere.
    even taking this design, why not send along on the rover a box with batteries/powerbanks/whatever surrounded by CO2 or aerogel, for anti-icing purposes? it just needs to be open during the day when the drone flies? maybe with wireless charging, if you design the drone properly? and solar panel on the rover module to charge the batteries?
    You could use two rovers each one with a box, with the other being at the pre-defined destination of the drone; the drone recharges quickly after the "assigned mission", you send the former rover to the next destination.. and so on, until night comes. Then you close the box with the drone inside?
    I wounder if they wouldn't benefit to ask for crowdsourcing on this problem, while they would have worked on it in parallel. I'm sure someone would have come with a different approach and perhaps more efficient for the purpose.

  • Shinigami
    Shinigami 6 days ago

    Wouldn't sonic booms occur at a different speed on Mars..? Or am I an idiot. I figured sonic booms on Mars would occur at a much higher speed than on earth.. so they wouldn't have to worry about having the RPMs that high..

  • Prajju Prajwal
    Prajju Prajwal 6 days ago

    Why they couverd with golden paper

  • Malcolm Abram
    Malcolm Abram 7 days ago

    I have been to Mars.

    The bars are now very small.

  • Tomate Chines
    Tomate Chines 7 days ago

    This Mars helicopter is the biggest waste of money, time and intelligence I've seen in the last 20years
    It proves doesn't matter how much money you put together people can still ckme with an idiot idea
    What is the point of having a 90 seconds autonomy of flight? The vehicle will be able only to take off take a few photos abd prepare to land
    Would be thousands of times cheaper and smarter to create a "jumper"
    Attach a very lightweight camera to a device able to contract a strong enough set of Springs
    As Mars gravity is super weak plus it has almost no atmosphere any device will be able to.jump super high with minimal energy use
    Them you just need some kind of umbrella like parachute to make it land confortable

  • Electromorphous
    Electromorphous 8 days ago +3

    Him: so no aerogel
    Her: no. No aerogel
    *Sad veritasium noises*

  • IDICS Tech News
    IDICS Tech News 8 days ago

    this makes us, human beings, ALIENS - aliens are just human beings from the future - dammit

  • Brian Zack
    Brian Zack 9 days ago

    with the advance of space exploration and stuff, I could only imagine only time will tell that Mars will be full of NASA's abandoned gadget and drones.. hahahha... full of high end, cutting edge scrap metal

  • Trex531
    Trex531 9 days ago

    Great video! Reminds me Amee’s marscopter on the movie “Red Planet”.

  • o-m-d
    o-m-d 9 days ago +1

    all H1B visa people...
    indian man and a Chinese women

  • Julio Alberto Palomo

    so cool

  • TheStayinAlive
    TheStayinAlive 9 days ago +1

    How about a zeppelin instead of helicopter?

  • The lounge
    The lounge 10 days ago +2

    No air in space so it can't prepel itself in any direction

  • will ben oni
    will ben oni 10 days ago

    did anyone notice the engineer or mechanic building the copter dressed as surgeons and building it in a full quarantined room.

  • Philippe Livoury
    Philippe Livoury 10 days ago

    Pourrait même ventiler le Rover pour dégager les poussières sur les panneaux solaires, No !?

  • Falcon H
    Falcon H 10 days ago

    Really bad idea it will definitely crash.


    Hi everyone, just to tell you guys that i'm selling a pigeon. I'll give big discount for the first 10 people reacting to this.

  • Fernando Bardon
    Fernando Bardon 10 days ago

    moon landing s fake.. mars landing will be fake too..

  • Fernando Bardon
    Fernando Bardon 10 days ago

    how did NASA knew that the gravity if mars s lower than earth gravity? who's been there????????

  • Gotzy GOTZY
    Gotzy GOTZY 10 days ago

    Sooooooo almost no atmosphere but helicopter will work just fine

  • Tony V
    Tony V 10 days ago

    Stop talking China's watching

  • Tony V
    Tony V 10 days ago

    so why not make something with a balloon that inflates by pressing a button from earth pushing the very same atmosphere from the planet into the balloon & use a propeller to push the balloon with a steering mechanism into path desire

  • YK Chan
    YK Chan 10 days ago

    Remember to test the flight batteries in chamber that can simulate air temperature pressure humidity on Mars. Lithium battery casing can outgas at 1bar more so below 1bar on Mars.

  • Ed Goeke
    Ed Goeke 10 days ago

    Was wondering? Can we try to blow off the dust collected on the rovers Soler panels so they can work again? Can this helicopter pick up the rover that got stuck in soft dirt?

  • Tathagat prasad
    Tathagat prasad 10 days ago

    Is that 50+ aged man with black t-shirt an Indian?

    • SiliconeSlave
      SiliconeSlave 7 days ago

      Tathagat prasad He looks and sounds Indian.

  • Saif Khan
    Saif Khan 10 days ago

    There is no air so how wings work

  • althu althaf g m elatroniks

    Naice disaining

  • Lexst1
    Lexst1 10 days ago

    There has to be atmosphere for a bladed vehicle to fly.

  • A seagypsy's Adventures

    How does this happen when there is no air??? Going to mars is a money scam!

  • averagepainter
    averagepainter 11 days ago

    thrilled to learn about the soviet mission on venus. wasn't it calles "venera" rather than "vega"?

  • The Potato King
    The Potato King 11 days ago +1

    How would they get the helicopter upright if it happens to fall over due to loose sand or rocks?

    • Sam Nielsen
      Sam Nielsen 7 days ago +1

      The Potato King rotate the rotors half a revolution perhaps?

  • Ryan Duckering
    Ryan Duckering 11 days ago

    Am I a dick for being disappointed at a minute of flight?

    Also, what is the purpose of a drone? Not sure what they're surveying that HD satellite images havent already captured.

    Not to sound critical, but I'm confused, as I thought there would be several other areas more pertinent to study.

  • ben halton
    ben halton 11 days ago

    Total BS.

  • big jim truth
    big jim truth 11 days ago

    There are no planets sry

  • Quintin Castro
    Quintin Castro 11 days ago

    Can we get this in ksp 2

  • tripodalt
    tripodalt 11 days ago

    extrem condition demonstrate what the more reliable and efficient design as russian understood since kamov helix havoc aligator with ejection seat for add more again

  • Quintin Castro
    Quintin Castro 11 days ago

    We are aliens sending a sending a flying saucer to another planet

  • RocketPlayz 58
    RocketPlayz 58 11 days ago

    Air is thinner on mars....

    Or is it?

  • lightrose100
    lightrose100 11 days ago

    everything they design is for the elites break away civilization

  • Martian Minute
    Martian Minute 11 days ago

    What's Mars' atmosphere like?

  • Màrcela Santos
    Màrcela Santos 11 days ago

    How come the aeroplane why your not try to travel the the Mars I'm interesting

  • Màrcela Santos
    Màrcela Santos 11 days ago

    Must be learn how to travel to the other new earth

  • Màrcela Santos
    Màrcela Santos 11 days ago


  • jack jack
    jack jack 11 days ago

    Rocket hits dome