Mars Rover Test Drive

– Today we take the Mars Rover for a spin.
– Let’s talk about that. ♪ (theme music playing) ♪ – Good Mythical Morning!
– Now, when you’re an internetainer you gotta prepare for the day when nobody
cares enough anymore to click on your face. It’s what you do. So as you guys know,
we’ve been going out and trying other jobs to see what else we might be good at with
a little help from our friends over at Together – Geico!
– Alright, this time around we thought we’d try our hands at being astronauts –
nay, I say: Mars-stronauts. It’s time for… Together – The Backup Plan! (slice sound) – Do you ever look up into the night sky
and think, “Man, I could totally get a job up there.”
– Generally I’m thinking, “Why did I decide to go camping?”
– To get ready for the ultimate camping trip. Going to Mars.
– At Jet Propulsion Laboratory, or JPL as those in the “know” say, they send
robots and spacecraft out to the solar system…and beyond!
– And we are here to convince them to put us on one of those spacecraft because
today’s mission is to become Mars-stronauts. Woman – “I am Dr. Sarah Milkovich,
I have a PHD in planetary geology.” – So you are a doctor of Mars?
Dr. Milkovich – “Yes.” – I just want to BE on Mars.
– We aren’t sending people to Mars, we are sending robots to Mars.
– Oh. Okay. – It’s a long journey out there.
– How long? – It’s going to be at least nine months
one way, and then it’s how long do you want to live on Mars. You also need to have –
– I want to remain living as long as I’m there. – Right, so you could get to Mars and then
step outside your spacecraft and die immediately. That’s always an option.
– Oh gosh. – There’s dust all over the surface of Mars
and it’s actually quite toxic. – Uh oh, you can’t eat it.
– You can’t eat it, you don’t want to breathe it either.
– As Dr. Milkovich continued to pile on all the reasons we shouldn’t go to Mars, we
decided maybe we should ask someone else. – And that someone else is Jim McClure,
space flight operations manager. – It was time to journey to (dramatic voice)
the center of the universe! How do you know this is the center
of the universe? Dr. McClure – “We call this the
center of the universe.” – Oh.
– And we call this the center of the universe because all data from interplanetary
space flows through this room. – Shouldn’t we like feel something?
Should we be buzzing? – Many people do.
– We shouldn’t be here. Especially he shouldn’t be here.
– I don’t know about that. – What? I’m not gonna like push any
buttons…can I push that button? – Only once.
– You know, I remember seeing the curiosity landing. – That was huge.
– Like there was like a party happening in here.
– There was a party. There were over one hundred people in the room that night.
– High-fiving and… – High fiving, absolutely.
– …like noogies happening? – A lot of crying.
– Did you cry? – I did cry.
– Oh, does it take a lot to make you cry? Or is it just like-
– There’s years, years of work that go into each one of these events we perform
here at JPL and it all comes out with those great successes.
– Yeah, I mean if there’s not some tears, you need to go see a psychologist.
– Yeah, I tend to cry when other people cry too. – I can make myself cry too. Would
that make you cry? – Uh, no.
– Are you about to cry right now? – I’m not going to cry right now.
– If we were going to Mars… – Yes?
– What would you say to us? – Hold your cookies.
– You’re talking about vomiting. – Yeah, it’s a tough ride.
– What about peanuts? – Peanuts?
– There’s something to do with peanuts here. – Oh yeah, we love our peanuts here.
– I see them. – We call them “Lucky Peanuts”. We
had six failures in a row with our ranger program. The ranger seven was flawless.
The engineers looked at each other and said, “Well, we didn’t really change
anything.” It was determined that the Chief Engineer just happened to be eating peanuts
& sharing with the other engineers in the room. – Ahh.
– We don’t want the public to believe that these great JPL engineers are superstitious.
– Ahh. – So, that’s why we call it a tradition.
No one wants to be that engineer that didn’t eat the peanuts.
– Ooh! – So perhaps they just pass it on by-
(peanut jar drops) – As I said!
– Rhett just spilled the peanuts! – Hey…
– You frickin’ spilled all of the peanuts! – No, I spilled like.. forty percent of ’em.
– Pick ’em up! – They’re not so lucky for you, I guess.
– Right. – That’s when we met Biker Bob. He drives
a rover on Mars all week, then a sweet chopper on the weekends.
Bob – “So, we send the commands up to the rover, it goes off and does what it’s
supposed to do, then it sends that data to the orbiters and then they relay it down
twelve, fifteen hours later.” – It’s like remote controlling like,
a little car, on Mars, blindfolded – Correct.
– With a twelve to sixteen hour delay. – Right.
– Like if I just start driving the rover, how do you spell, is laser with a “z” or an “s”?
– He can’t even spell laser, Bob. Why’d you let him touch it?
– So I could just put him in a text file Then when its time it’s just hitting a
button and sending it. – (hiccup)
– You okay? – Oh, geez.
– He’s got the hiccups, ladies and gentlemen. – I got the hiccups.(laughs) It’s something
about interplanetary communications that gives me hiccups. (hiccup)
– Might be allergic to peanuts, you should check that out.
– Oh, really? – Yeah. (laughter)
– If I’m gonna die, (hiccup) it’s at least gonna be at the center of the universe.
You’ll be seeing more of us around here. – Cool.
– Yeah. – (hiccup) ‘Cause we’re trying
to uh get a job to go Mars. – As long as you don’t mind not getting sleep.
– What do you mean by that? – The rotation of Mars is roughly forty
minutes longer than the rotation of Earth. So, the line-up in that same spot the sun
commands everyday, that… – (hiccup)
– …changes by about 40 minutes everyday. – So, you’re constantly changing your day?
– Our start times change every day. You know, your body never knows when it’s supposed
to go to sleep so either you sleep all the time or you don’t sleep at all.
– The most sleep deprived people in here are the ones that are controlling the rover.
– Pretty much. (laughs) – Got it.
– Yeah. ♪ (music playing) ♪
– After talking with Bob, we were confident we were ready for Mars.
– Jim was not so confident. – So, this is what we are interested in…
– Yeah. – Currently, we are internetainers.
– Okay. – It’s not rocket science.
– Right. – But, if that doesn’t work out, we want to
know that we could step in here at JPL and… – Contribute.
– Rocket science it up! – For a living.
– Go to Mars! – Today I would say no. Maybe you’re
not that caliber yet. The astronauts require a lot of training. A lot of training
before they’re allowed to go to space. ♪ (intense music plays) ♪
– So, all we need to get to Mars is some training? ♪ (dramatic music playing) ♪
– If it’s training we need, the place to get it is the Mars yard. A simulation of the
red planet and JPL’s proving ground for rovers and maybe for us.
– Even though it looks like some place you’d sneak into and then your mom would find
out and make you get a tetanus shot. – To tell us more we met up with Matt Heverly,
Mobility Systems Engineer and former Lead Driver of Curiosity.
– So on Mars you’ve got, like, reddish dirt, a rock-climbing, skateboard ramp?
Heverly – “Yeah.” – And a shed.
– What we’ve tried to do is we’ve tried to build lots of slopes and sand and rocks
all to throw at our robots so that they can be prepared when they get to Mars.
You guys wanna come check out one of our rovers? – Yeah!
– Absolutely. – Alright, let’s go!
– (commanding voice) Release the beast! – So this is what we call the Scarecrow Rover.
And the Scarecrow weighs on Earth what Curiosity weighs on Mars.
– (frightened) Watch out, Link! Watch out!
– Get out of the way! – (laughter) You actually did scare me.
– This is what roboticists do, we carry rocks around. – Hey, I gotta tell you though, it’s just goin’
a little bit slower than I was thinkin’ it was gonna go when I was driving it.
– Can I hit this one over here too? – Sure! So we go a whopping 0.1 miles an hour
BUT we got lots of torque so we can go over whatever happens to be in its way.
– So these are aluminum tires? – Aluminum tires.
– So these wouldn’t work if they were rubber? – The rubber doesn’t really work in space,
on its way from here to Mars uh, it would all boil off.
– Where is the steering wheel for us to commandeer this creature once on Mars?
– Yeah, you probably need to get some new software on the robot to drive it on Mars.
– We can take a disk. – Can we drive it?
– Uh, you can’t drivethisone… – Why not?
– …there is another one around the corner… – You don’t trust us to drive this?
– Yeah…you know… – You can tell us. ♪ (music playing) ♪
– Seein’ that tiny rover, I knew they still weren’t taking us seriously.
– And I really can’t blame ’em. – But we had a plan.
– It was time to use all of our internetainment skills to convince JPL
to send us… Together – To Mars!
– Sarah, we have prepared something that we are convinced, will give you
the confidence to send us to Mars. Now, I understand you don’t have the
authority to do that, but I’ve gotta think you’ve got some type of
influence in this place. – I’ll put in a good word for ya.
– Okay, I wanna see it. – Here it is. ♪ (intro music plays) ♪
Movie Trailer Man -“140,000,000 miles from Earth, one lonely rover, waiting for friends
to arrive. But who will be brave and cool enough to travel so far?”
♪ (dramatic music) ♪ – Hello?
– Who is it, Marcia? – No, it’s NASA.
– I don’t know a “NASA.” Dr. Milkovich’s Voice – “There’s dust all over the
surface of Mars, and it’s actually quite toxic. You could get to Mars and then step outside
your spacecraft and then die immediately.” -Mars.
-Mars. – I like the sound of that.
– Mars. – Mars.
– Mars. – Mars.
– We’re in. ♪ (intense music plays) ♪
– Mission Control, are we clear? – Hold onto your cookies.
– (screaming) We didn’t pack any cookies! Movie Voice – “What they lack in training,
they make up for with enthusiasm.” (cheering)
– This may have been a mistake! Together – (yelling) The greatest
mistake of our lives! – (yelling) Want some peanuts?
(sound of parachute deploying) – It’s okay to cry, Jim!
– Uh, no. I’m not gonna cry right now. ♪ (action music plays) ♪
– Either we took the long way to Arizona, Together – Or this is Mars.
Movie Voice – “Two internetainers will test the limits of the Mars Rover.”
– Let’s see what this puppy can do! ♪ (louder intense music plays) ♪
Movie Voice – “By actually driving it.” – (screaming) Yee-haw!
(rover/engine noises) (music stops abruptly)
– What are we supposed to be doin’ here, anyway? – Hold on! Your helmet sprung a leak!
– (gasps) Mars air doesn’t taste good! Movie Voice – “Will…Link…”
♪ (intense music plays) ♪ – I’m comin’ for ya!
Movie Voice – “Survive?” – (gasping for air) I’m gettin’ the red lung!
– Don’t you leave me up here alone! – (screaming)
– (screaming) Movie Voice – “There’s only one way to find out.
Send Rhett and Link to Mars. Please. Please send them to Mars.
Just to clarify, this is not a movie, this is us asking you to send Rhett and Link to Mars.”
(music ends) – (laughter)
– And that’s why we do unmannned space flight. (slicing noise)
– Okay, so, we’re not gonna go to Mars anytime soon, but I think we should make that movie.
– Yes, and Matt Damon should play both of us. Thanks to Geico for sponsoring this episode!
Go to where 15 minutes could save you 15% or more on your car insurance.
– And thanks to you for liking, commenting and subscribing.
– You know what time it is. – “I’m Harris and I’m at Cape Canaveral
Florida at the Kennedy Space Center, this is the Saturn V Moon Rocket,
and it’s time to spin the Wheel of Mythicality!” – Remember to follow us on tumblr and if you
are a part of the answer-time that we did you can actually go to our tumblr and see
all the questions and all the answers, they’re still up there. So go check it out!
– Click through to Good Mythical More, I’m gonna share the crazy but true backstory
behind the hiccups within our JPL visit. -Good Cop/Bad Cop: Bagel Thief – (bad cop voice) Okay, Buster. I can smell it
on your breath. It’s a bagel. I don’t like the way you’re lookin’ at me. And your buddy over
there in the other room just told me that it was all your idea. You did it. We’re gonna…
– (good cop voice) Hey, Bob! – …put you away for a long time.
– Hey buddy! – You freak.
– Oh, hey buddy I didn’t know you were here yet, I’m so sorry I missed the beginning
of the interrogation but, better late than never! Can I give you anything to make you
more comfortable? Some coffee? Maybe a…bagel?

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