Hey guys!! I still work a 'real day job' (currently home for lunch) but YouTube has been such a cool creative outlet for me for the past 5 years. Getting people pumped about science and education is something I'm passionate about. I genuinely can't process that 2M have hit the subscribe button. Ask me anything... and I mean ANYTHING... that sounds creepy... just ask my anything.

My channel

tl;dr of me: I have a Masters in Mechanical Engineering. I worked at NASA for 9 years (7 of which were spent on the Curiosity Rover). I started a Halloween costume company from one of my videos and then sold it to some dudes in the UK and worked for them for 2 years at which point I was offered an opportunity to work for a large tech company in the Bay Area in their product formulation area which I do now.

YouTube has allowed me to fill a pool with 25M Orbeez to investigate buoyancy, earn 2 Guinness World Records (Largest Nerf gun and Largest Super Soaker), go on Jimmy Kimmel 4 times, travel to a bunch of cool places and interact with a bunch of cool people.

UPDATE That's all for now! I'm taking ma boy camping. That was cool. I'll hop back on tomorrow afternoon and answer any additional questions that came in!

My Proof: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/8504613/IMG_7579.JPG

Comments: 204 • Responses: 85  • Date: 

Iinex19 karma

Hey Mark. This is Lonnie, and it was a real honor to be included in your most recent video. I am happy to take full credit for you hitting 2 million subscribers. I wanted to ask you a question about the World's Largest Super Soaker ever made.

What is the pressure drop per inch from the release valve to the nozzle, and how does that change with the tube diameter?

_scienceftw_11 karma

LONNIE!!! FYI EVERYONE- we've got the inventor of the Super Soaker in the house!!

Man Lonnie, comin on here and bustin my chops in front of everyone like this :) We ran that test in the initial phases of testing. We put a pressure valve right at the nozzle. From my recolleciton we went from 2400psi down to 1800psi or something. Things got better once we enlarged the tube diameter but I don't think we ever reran the test. At that point we could slice watermelons in half so I figured that was good enough :)

RobinsonVBBC15 karma

Mark Rober. Mars Rover. The odds of this are just baffling. Please settle this once and for all - is this a pseudonym or nah?

_scienceftw_29 karma

Haha! My office mate when I first was hired at NASA was Dana Marrs. So we were the Marrs Rober office. In hindsight, I'm pretty sure that's why I was hired.

lubertjohnson7 karma

What's your real day job??

_scienceftw_10 karma

Seeeecreettt!!! I'm a Product Design engineer at a large tech company in the bay area. I work on the team formulating products that haven't been released. They ask that I don't mention their name and that is fine by me because it might preclude me from working with specific sponsors in the future.

404_Errror6 karma

Why do you have to 'put your two cents in'... but it's only a 'penny for your thoughts'? Where's that extra penny going to??

_scienceftw_13 karma

sales tax

teklan55 karma

Whatever happened to the Heat Map microwave??

_scienceftw_14 karma

It's still in patent limbo. I had some good conversations with some manufactures but they said they want to see the official patent first. I fast tracked it but it still takes several years to get something like that pushed through. When we use my prototype version at home and we love it.

kenanek5 karma

What is your best advice for young people interested in STEM fields??

_scienceftw_8 karma

Hmmmm... just do stuff. Play with legos. Learn to program on line. Talk apart your old blender your parents are going to throw away. The best learning happens outside of the class room when motivated by genuine curiosity and not an upcoming test.

_bobby_tables_4 karma

Epic mistake not including the year in your proof photo. Now you're commited to an endless stream of Bastille Day AMAs to keep imposters from squatting with that photo.

Edit: a letter

_scienceftw_5 karma

lol. With photoshop I'm sure they could do much worse.

baustin1463 karma

how did you become a mechanical engineer?? I am interested in becoming one. what is the best thing you did at NASA??

_scienceftw_13 karma

I mean, practically speaking I chose that as my major in college. I've really enjoyed it. I feel like if you really like high school physics you'd make a good mechanical engineer. I remember loving that class and being amazed how you could explain so many natural phenomena in the world using math and equations.

My dream is to one day retire and be a high school physics teacher.

patdt133 karma

Did you have more fun making the giant nerf gun or super soaker?? Love your channel.

_scienceftw_7 karma

Tough one. It's really close but maybe the Super Soaker just because there felt like more variables to tweak so it was more of a challenge to get the right performance. The first time we fired the thing it was pretty anticlimactic and weak and I got a little nervous but we pulled it off by increasing the diameter of all the tubes to 1/4" and increasing the size of the pressurant tank. If the diameter of the tubes was increased even more to 1/2" I think it could put a hole in a wall... next time.

IrishYogaShirt3 karma

What made you want to become a mechanical engineer??

_scienceftw_5 karma

High school physics. Loved that class and how it explained things in the everyday world. I like tinkering with things and figuring out how they work or why it was designed a certain way.

_bobby_tables_3 karma

We're you nervous on Kimmel's show?

_scienceftw_3 karma

Not really I guess. More pumped up like before a big game. Lots of adrenaline. He's super chill and really good at making his guests not look lame so that helps.

Diedsel2 karma

what is the coolest experiment or thing you did at nasa?

_scienceftw_3 karma

Def the landing of Curiosity after working on it for 7 years. I made a video about it. It's one of the least watched but possibly my favorite of all the videos on my channel.

Diedsel1 karma

anding of Curiosity after working on it for 7 years. I made a video about it. It's one of the least watched but possibly my favorite of all the videos on my channel. ive seen it loved it aswell, but what did you exactly do again?

_scienceftw_2 karma

I worked on the Descent Stage (the jetback) for a few years and then I was in charge of some hardware on the Rover Top Deck for a few years. I was a cognizant engineer for that hardware which means I'm in charge of coming up with the design and then working with the stress and thermal analysts and manufacturing engineers to make sure it worked. You have to stand in front of a room of 'gray beards' and present your design a few times. They'll either say, 'yeah this looks good, lets make it' or 'this is design sucks and these are the reasons why, try again. Here's my babies: https://www.nasa.gov/images/content/706404main_pia16446-full_full.jpg

Here's another pic after they got dirty: http://www.leonarddavid.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Curiosity-Mastcam-Left-image-taken-on-Sol-1362-June-5-2016-2.jpg

They served as the dynamic interface for when the rover arm gets a sample of dirt and wants to dump it into the belly of the rover for analysis. It's cool to think I've touched the stuff in that picture that was taken on a different planet. And since Mars' environment is much less corrosive than ours that will be there long after we're extinct all our buildings have crumbled on this planet ;)

Diedsel2 karma

that pretty cool indeed! whats the coolest youve learned in the curiosity time?

_scienceftw_2 karma

whoa, whoa, whoa... I question per paying customer...

Ghostlycreature2 karma

Something I've wondered about many different youtubers and/or creators of random cool things, how do you come up with the wacky ideas for things you make. Do you just go "you know what, I should build a dart board which auto aims for you" or is there like a big list of things you want to make but don't have the time/ aren't interesting enough??

P.S. Why do you always draw your charts on old pizza boxes? :D

_scienceftw_1 karma

Lol. Lots of different origins on the ideas but the common theme is I'm always on the look out or things. So for example I was at ChuckECheese yesterday with my son and saw something and thought of a really cool video idea. You'll probably see it in a couple months.

_bobby_tables_2 karma

You feature your extended family in several of your videos. Do they inspire video ideas directly or indirectly?

_scienceftw_8 karma

Hmmmm... I suppose both? I feature them for a number of reasons: 1) It will be fun to look back in a bunch of years and have these memories captured and shared with such a large audience. 2) I think it can be more relatable to people and especially young people to see someone interacting with the idea 3) Sometimes I just need a guinea pig and my siblings promised not to sue if things go south

_bobby_tables_2 karma

What does Kimmel smell like?

_scienceftw_5 karma

Butterscotch

_bobby_tables_2 karma

I'd have been tempted to lick his forehead. (BTW nice use of the underscore in your username)

_scienceftw_2 karma

haha_thanks_I'm_rubber_you're_glue

lightningxcookie2 karma

What's your favourite food?

_scienceftw_2 karma

Ice cream.

JustAistis2 karma

I'm a teen from Lithuania and I really like Physics and Maths. In the future I would love to work at NASA. Is there a chance for me??

_scienceftw_2 karma

Cool! Honestly, NASA is hard because they have requirements that make hiring foreign nationals difficult. I would recommend coming to the US for some other company first. My current company is a tech company and we have no such restrictions and many really smart non-americans.

Sharooz2 karma

Hey Mark, congrats on 2 million! How/When did you get interested in science/engineering??

_scienceftw_2 karma

Thanks! I loved high school physics. Snowballed from there.

Meow-steve-cat2 karma

What you up to right now?

_scienceftw_10 karma

sitting on my couch typing furiously

fznmomin2 karma

Hey congrats on 2M subs! What ever happened to the microwave project??

_scienceftw_1 karma

Thanks! It's still in patent limbo. I had some good conversations with some manufactures but they said they want to see the official patent first. I fast tracked it but it still takes several years to get something like that pushed through. When we use my prototype version at home and we love it.

exergia2 karma

Hi Mark, I am a mechanical engineering student from Argentina. any piece of advice that you can give me?? what do you think it would be the future of our field?? saludos!

_scienceftw_3 karma

I think there will always need to be stuff built. Even when we are all VR zombies someone needs to build the headset ;) I think you've picked a good field. I would say make sure you do school to actually learn and not just to get a good grade.

BIG_DOFUS_ISREDITING2 karma

What made you want to work for NASA??

_scienceftw_5 karma

Truthfully I just applied to a bunch of places out of college and they were one of the ones to accept me. I'd always thought space was cool but I felt embarrassed sometimes at work when other people knew it was their dream to work for NASA since they were 5 years old or something. It was a really great experience though.

BijeDragonne2 karma

Are there any YouTubers with whom you'd love to do a collab video? Maybe someone like The King of Random or Jerry-Rig Everything?

_scienceftw_6 karma

Collabs are great. I think it would be cool to lend the Dude Perfect guys my Super Soaker and Nerf Gun :)

fznmomin2 karma

Congrats on 2M Subs! What ever happened to the microwave project? What's the ETA on delivery?

_scienceftw_1 karma

It's still in patent limbo. I had some good conversations with some manufactures but they said they want to see the official patent first. I fast tracked it but it still takes several years to get something like that pushed through. When we use my prototype version at home and we love it.

buckyboy282 karma

Do you ever regret leaving NASA??

_scienceftw_2 karma

Not at all. I do miss many of the cool people but it was a pretty clear decision at the time as to the right choice to make given the opportunity. In hindsight it was the right move. I did miss using my Engineering skillz and so it was good to get back to that at my current company. I love tech stuff just as much as space though and my coworkers are all really smart and cool so we really like it up here in the Bay Area. I'm still a massive NASA fan and supporter though.

cucumbers9991 karma

Did you have some one who inspired you?if so who??

_scienceftw_1 karma

Destin from Smarter Everyday was the first youtuber to reach out to me when he had just 250k subs and I had something like 10k. He's a good dude and has been a good sounding board about stuff over the years.

wingedcheese1 karma

Do you play the drum set?? I've seen it in a couple of your videos.

_scienceftw_1 karma

Indeed. Played a bit in high school so i mess around now that we have some space.. My neighbors love it :) Do you play?

Quinn_all_man1 karma

Hey Mark! I love your videos. I'm studying Mechanical Engineering right now at BYU. Still trying to decide where I want to end up. What is the one thing outside of school I should be doing to help further my career in the future?? I do lots of projects on the side for fun, but is there one specific task or thing I should learn that BYU did not provide for you??

_scienceftw_1 karma

Something it took me awhile to realize is that networking matters. People shift companies a lot more now days. So don't burn bridges and try to leave people with a positive impression. If you do this you will have many more opportunities to level up in your career. Keep your LinkedIn resume updated.

rice_ninja_3001 karma

Hi Mark I'm a huge fan of your videos! My question is on average, how many projects do you dedicate time for multiple projects both short term and long term over the span of a month? Keep up the good work and thanks for answering.

_scienceftw_1 karma

Each video takes me 80-100 hours I would say. I'm always working on about the next 3 months worth of videos in different stages.

forava71 karma

what are you currently working on right now? Or what ideas are you considering doing?

_scienceftw_3 karma

I feel like this is one of my fellow YouTubers trying to get the scoop. NICE TRY DESTIN!!

Jacon8or1 karma

What inspires you to make videos and what do you film and edit with??

_scienceftw_2 karma

premiere pro cc. It's like an itch. I get an idea and I'm a slave to it in a sense. My dartboard took 3 years to pull off but I just couldn't let it go

Parkatola1 karma

Mark, thanks for the great and informative videos. I have a son who is studying to be an electrical engineer and another who is going to begin his studies as a mechanical engineer (after a two-year stint out of the country), both at Utah State (go Aggies!). Any suggestions or advice to them that I could pass along to them? I promise to give you full credit. Thanks again!

_scienceftw_1 karma

Upgrade schools to something a little further south of course! I also lived outside the country for two years :) When I came back I had better perspective and was better balanced. If I could do all my schooling over I would learn more to learn instead of to just get a good grade I think.

curtisgibby1 karma

Will you finally admit that Stall 3 was your doing? It's been almost 20 years, Rober; time to fess up!

_scienceftw_1 karma

freaking gibby! My money is still on Chad or Maria.

limelego1 karma

What do you do when you're bored??

_scienceftw_1 karma

Reddit

spandipants1 karma

Do people often comment on how good looking you are or is that just creepy given you're a family man??

_scienceftw_1 karma

No and yes :)

scottdavid7751 karma

Saw you posted your ski trip to Tahoe and thought how awesome it would be to sponsor you to come down to Reno to do a University/K-12 outreach event. Have you ever thought about a tour of local campuses, or does your current job prohibit?

_scienceftw_1 karma

I do really enjoy speaking at schools and working with kids time permitting. Reno would be a bit challenging though :) I'll let you know if we're ever on vacation there!

SimonDanziger1 karma

I recently was listening to cgpgrey's podcast about mistake on the internet and it made me think about other YouTubers and possible mistakes. Do you have any big mistakes you've made in videos that you regret?

_scienceftw_3 karma

Heard that too and thought about it. We actually ate lunch together the other day and I think this came up. Nothing really big comes to mind. It's always funny though that the videos you think will take off generally don't and visa versa. My horn honk video I almost didn't release cause I thought it was lame and filler video but then it hit 4M views faster than any video I'd ever made.

gielhagenbeek1 karma

Ever been in the netherlands?

_scienceftw_1 karma

No. Is that an invite?

lungithrow21 karma

Hey Mark!

Been watching you since your LED Table video. Also, I think you are the coolest uncle ;)

What was your average day like while working on curiosity??

_scienceftw_1 karma

Wow. Nice! Depends on the phase of the project. Early design phase was CAD and meetings. Then review phase was meetings. Then build and test and integrate phase was hands on in the trenches... and meetings.

kristina_with_a_k1 karma

Hey Mark! I'm studying to become an aerospace engineer. How did you know engineering was right for you?? And how did you stay motivated to finish your degrees?? Lots of love and admiration from Oklahoma and Instagram ❤️

_scienceftw_1 karma

I loved high school physics so ME worked well. Aerospace engineering is cool too. Super similar. My motivation in school was mainly about getting good grades but if I did it again I would try and learn to learn instead of just getting the right grade for the test.

3blue1brown1 karma

What's one thing you would like to build for the channel, but are not yet sure how to implement?

_scienceftw_5 karma

I have a Word document with all my ideas in different stages. I have a few on there that will be really awesome but the technology to do them hasn't been invented yet. That was like my very first video with the two iPads and the FaceTime chat to make it look like you had a hole in your body. I had that idea but it wasn't sure how to pull it off and then as soon as Apple was announcing the feature in their keynote I knew the time had come :)

Thewball1 karma

Hi! Love your videos. What would you say is the hardest thing about being an engineer?

_scienceftw_2 karma

Thanks. Maybe turning the theory into practice. Many times something will look good on paper but when you try in the real world where you can't make the same simplifications or when your device isn't built perfectly or you have different environmental conditions than you analysed. We always extensively tested anything we built anything we sent to space even though we also analyzed the crud out of it.

Bumbleborg561 karma

Do you think that research based fields like theoretical physics, mathematics research ,microbiology/virology etc. Are becoming more of a longshot to get a stable job in?? From what I've read it seems that there's a ton of way more experienced old PhDs in these fields yet not many jobs, making it appear increasingly hard to get a job straight out of a PhD program in college. I'm torn whether I should risk unemployment and go for biology research or take a "safer" route and pursue engineering. Thanks!

_scienceftw_2 karma

Yeessh. That's a tough one just cause I'm not super familiar with the field of biology research and the like. People say 'follow your dreams' but at the same time I think you need to be practical. An engineer is just about the safest career choice you can make. If you're working for a company you won't get super rich like a patent lawyer but you can make enough to be happy, work reasonable hours, feel fulfilled in your work and provide for anyone that depends on you.

_bobby_tables_1 karma

What university(ies) did you study at?

_scienceftw_1 karma

BYU undergrad USC grad school

both in Mechanical Engineering

organicdarren1 karma

What area of the Bay Area do you live in??(and if you can, specify which city)

_scienceftw_2 karma

Sunnyvale, Cupertino, Mountain View, Palo Alto area... ish :)

mjlich31 karma

If you could choose one thing to "super-size" (like you did with the Super Soaker and the Nerf gun), what would it be??

_scienceftw_4 karma

I magic genie that could grant me infinite wishes. Not cause I care what size she is but now I would have a magic genie to grant me infinite wishes.

f0fsf0fs1 karma

What was it like working on Curiosity?

_scienceftw_1 karma

great question! I made a video for your real quick about that: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCKogFDM3Zg&index=21&list=PL45865A763BAB32CA

Teremiah1 karma

What sorts of sports did you play as a kid / still play (if any)?? And what sort of physical activity do you maintain now to stay in shape while balancing the rest of your awesome life??

_scienceftw_3 karma

Soccer is my sport of choice. I just played last night in fact! I've been playing at least once a week for the past 30 years. I really do like most sports though... except baseball which is lame cause I'm really bad at it for some reason. I have so many fond memories of getting home from school and going outside to play in the streets any sport we could. Grew up on the tough streets of suburban Orange County, CA so that's why I have such a hardened exterior.

arbel031 karma

How much did you sell your costume company for? Here's your 2 question marks: ??

_scienceftw_3 karma

Technically that's 3 so I don't know why I'm even answering this :) We did $2.5M in gross sales (that's a sort of answer for you). So not enough that I'm living on a private island in the bahamas but enough that it's allowed us some good flexibility on things like where to live and some other investments and stuff. That whole thing was a great experience and not just cause it turned out ok in the end for us. Most businesses fail but in many cases with all the infrastructure in place today it's one of the best and cheapest forms of education you can pay for.

gustins1 karma

Have you ever met Elon Musk?

_scienceftw_6 karma

No. I work with a few people that worked pretty closely with him though. They say he would call bs and be more technical than all the technical leads on any subsystems (and if he wasn't he would go home and read some books and then come back the next day and be more technical then them). That's really rare for a CEO. The dude is incredible. I really liked his biography. Love how he's been able to do so much across so many fields and the world is lucky to have him. If he gets pancreatic cancer I really hope he doesn't try and use natural remedies to cure it.

Zanerman1231 karma

What programming languages do you know??

_scienceftw_1 karma

C and C++. It's enough to get by and do understand how programming works generally. When I have anything super crazy to work on from a programming standpoint I usually have help in some capacity.

Schapp_Daddy1 karma

If you could have dinner with any person, living or dead, who would it be, why, and what would you ask them?

_scienceftw_2 karma

Alexander Hamilton. Did you REEEALLY to fire into the air or are you just a sucky marksman? Either way, love your musical.

ruskitskit1 karma

Would you ever quit your day job and devote all your time to bigger / longer YouTube projects? Is that even feasible?

_scienceftw_13 karma

No. I'm actually pretty sucky at managing my time so if I had all day to work on projects I'm afraid I would mostly just hang out on TMZ.com. I find I'm much more productive when I'm constrained. Plus I like keeping the YouTube thing as a hobby and not as a primary thing for me psychologically. Coming up with ideas and creativity is such a delicate thing and I try to protect it like a little candle flame. Plus I really like my coworkers and our lunchtime conversations and the work we're doing. Financially, YouTube is more of a significant part of our family revenue but I just really love the balance we've got atm and chasing the money often seems to lead to inauthenticity imho.

BijeDragonne1 karma

Congrats on hitting 2M subscribers!

Who will win, Conor MacGregor or Floyd Mayweather Jr?

_scienceftw_5 karma

I was about to tweet something about this today. My sentiments are that I couldn't be any less interested. I got pumped for the Mayweather v. Pacquiao fight and was super let down and realized it was more of a publicity stunt to make a lot of money than anything else. This fight seems even more so. Totally different than the Super Bowl or NBA finals or something.

Star_city_mayor1 karma

What have you done to make money since you quit NASA besides YouTube? Stay at home dad?

_scienceftw_3 karma

Well first I did the Digital Dudz thing for 2 years and sold it to the Morphsuit guys in the UK. Then I was given an opportunity to return to my engineering roots here in the Bay Area in CA and I've been here the last 2 years. So just my day job and YouTube.

DanYaYEET1111111 karma

How do you edit videos?? What is your outlined process??

_scienceftw_4 karma

Good question! I'd be really curious to hear how others do this too. I start by bringing in all the raw footage and organize it in premiere by which camera shot it on. Then I do a first rough pass on all the footage and cut it down to the most interesting parts. Then I basically just repeat that and each pass gets more and more refined. About half way through I come up with the narrative story flow once I have a feel for all the raw material. At that point I'll shoot any further talking I need to do to have everything string together. The talking to the camera is always the very last thing I shoot. As an example, I had 7 hours of footage to go through for the Super Soaker video. I do pretty much everything all myself because I'm a perfectionist and I generally enjoy the creation process. That's partly why I only release once a month.

FSOfficial1 karma

Hey. I created a reddit account just because of this thread :D I like your content, but I would like to ask you what do you think about SpaceX??

Best regards, FSO

_scienceftw_1 karma

I think they're accomplishing great things. They can get to space now an order of magnitude less than anyone else. That is great for everyone. Even NASA. Any one of Elon's companies are a grind to work for though.

Calvindos1 karma

Where did you go to college??

_scienceftw_1 karma

BYU undergrad, USC grad school. Both Mechanical Engineering.

Aqxea1 karma

What does the courtesy horn sound like?

_scienceftw_1 karma

Courteous. I made a video about it on my channel.

Colepher1 karma

Was most of your work done on a computer or off of a computer while working on the rover?

_scienceftw_2 karma

I'd say more on than off in sum.

Marnix241 karma

Do you have a second job because you are insecure about the future of your channel?

_scienceftw_1 karma

I suppose that's on the list but maybe the 4th or 5th reason. People (or the algorithm) will stop thinking my stuff is cool at some point so it's always good to have a plan b.

nillbyethemathguy1 karma

Hey Mark, I'm a highschool student graduating three years from now with my highschool diploma and bachelors in science. I also aspire to become a mechanical engineer. Do you have any advice for me??

_scienceftw_1 karma

I said it elsewhere on here but try to do school to really internalize the concepts and not just to get an A on the test. The difference is subtle but significant.

beckloration1 karma

Hey mark what project out of all the ones you have created did you have the most fun with??

_scienceftw_1 karma

Probably the Orbeez pool. It was stressful to pull it off but such a cool feeling and great memory with my nephews.

username19561 karma

Did you ever work at NASA? If not would you like to? If so what did you work as??

_scienceftw_1 karma

Wait really? I feel like I've made this pretty clear.

aniolator11 karma

Hi Mark I just stumbled upon you and I had a career question. I am pursuing a career in engineering because I want to be something close to an inventor. How close is a mechanical engineer to an inventor or what sort of things do they work with because I'm also trying to figure out which field of engineering to go into? Just as a bit of info I struggled with AP physics in high school but I still really enjoyed it.

_scienceftw_1 karma

I think it's smart to be an engineer first and inventor second. Depends on what kind of stuff you want to invent I suppose. Electrical engineering could be pretty helpful. Seems like almost all inventions have some kind of mechanical/physical element. You might have had a bad teacher btw. If you enjoyed physics I would give it another go in college and see how the introductory classes feel.

wajeemba1 karma

How do you have the time to put out such professional stuff in just your spare time? How many hours of sleep do you give yourself? xD

_scienceftw_1 karma

Thanks. I used to get closer to 5 hours. Now I try to get at least 7 and usually am able to do so.

Not_Weirder1 karma

Did you make those t shirts with the phone inside them? If so, I have one and I love it!

_scienceftw_2 karma

I did! That's what promted my departure from NASA originally. It was a really fun adventure. Which one do you have?

Not_Weirder1 karma

Sorry for the late reply. I have two shirts. One is the bib with the oozing heart and the other is the t shirt with the eye being pulled open.

_scienceftw_2 karma

Both classics :)

cucumbers9991 karma

will you ever do a live stream??

_scienceftw_1 karma

I suppose I'll never say never but no plans at this point. The closest i get is Instagram stories.

cucumbers9991 karma

whats your dream??

_scienceftw_3 karma

I want to teach high school physics one day.

darksidesirius1 karma

Hi Mark! I'm a big fan of your channel and just everything you do!

I'm in high school and I'm really interested in how you got to do the things you have accomplished in your career.

How did you like working for NASA and also what advice do have for getting there??

Thanks for the AMA and also congrats on the 2mil!!

_scienceftw_2 karma

Thanks! I really liked NASA. People were cool and the work was cool. As for advice getting there, if you're in school just do as good as you can to leave yourself as many options as possible.

HACKAZX1 karma

As someone who is looking to enter the field of engineering, what is it like to work as a mechanical engineer (Quick run-down of a day at work, what do you actually do everyday to earn $... per hour, what is the work environment like, what kind of machinery do you work with, etc) ??

Also, speaking about your work at NASA, what are your contributions to the rover??

_scienceftw_2 karma

whoah... that's like 23 questions. That's cheating. The first part is readily google-able. Here's the second part though:

I worked on the Descent Stage (the jetback) for a few years and then I was in charge of some hardware on the Rover Top Deck for a few years. I was a cognizant engineer for that hardware which means I'm in charge of coming up with the design and then working with the stress and thermal analysts and manufacturing engineers to make sure it worked. You have to stand in front of a room of 'gray beards' and present your design a few times. They'll either say, 'yeah this looks good, lets make it' or 'this is design sucks and these are the reasons why, try again. Here's my babies: https://www.nasa.gov/images/content/706404main_pia16446-full_full.jpg Here's another pic after they got dirty: http://www.leonarddavid.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Curiosity-Mastcam-Left-image-taken-on-Sol-1362-June-5-2016-2.jpg They served as the dynamic interface for when the rover arm gets a sample of dirt and wants to dump it into the belly of the rover for analysis. It's cool to think I've touched the stuff in that picture that was taken on a different planet. And since Mars' environment is much less corrosive than ours that will be there long after we're extinct all our buildings have crumbled on this planet ;)

rkbwe1 karma

Did you have any unexpected hurdles getting into making videos for youtube?

I have a friend who is interested in starting her own channel, but I'm not sure what kinda of advice to give her or what pitfalls she needs to watch out for. She's not trying to do it professionally or anything like that, just as a hobby.

_scienceftw_1 karma

Just make videos. Make a lot. Quantity is better than quality when starting out until you find your voice and what you like to do.

ChaseThomas11 karma

I'm a big fan, have been watching since your turtle/snake roadkill experiment over five years ago. I love how you show the scientific method in ways that are relatable to daily life.

My question is: Would you be open to giving guest talks/lectures? I'm sure that many college campuses (including mine) would love for you to come share your story or hear about your work.

_scienceftw_1 karma

Wow. That's a long time! With my limited time I tend to not do public speaking stuff just because it doesn't scale like investing time in a video does. Every now and again is fun but I say no quite a bit.

BobertMeinholz1 karma

I've always wonder if you could guess a persons personality based on what someone's favorite color. SO what is your favorite color??

_scienceftw_3 karma

"disappointed with life blue"... not sure how that will help though...

FinalSentinel1 karma

Hi Mark!

As a college student studying physics, how does one get to be able to do what you do? In particular, what was your path into working for NASA during and after getting out of college?

Thanks for doing this AMA. Your content is consistently entertaining and informative, and the passion you have for what you do is inspiring to watch. Thanks for putting such superb content out into the world (and sticking a rover on good ol' Mars)!

_scienceftw_1 karma

I got lucky. My resume was in a stack of resumes. There's a lot of different specific paths but you will need to at least have a 3.0 GPA but hopefully better. So for now just knock the school thing out of the park and you'll leave yourself with the most amount of options.

paramedic-tim1 karma

What prompted you to leave NASA?? I just can't imagine finding a better job, working on space exploration technology...

_scienceftw_2 karma

It was a really good opportunity that was pretty clear at the time when we looked at the big picture. In hindsight it was the right move.

tnc1431 karma

Hi, Mark Rober! I have two sons who are fans! Would you please give them a shout out (Carson&Nicky)??

_scienceftw_1 karma

What's up Carson and Nicky!!! Thanks for watching my videos!!

Sharooz1 karma

Hi Mark, how old were you when you joined the JPL, and why did you join the JPL??

_scienceftw_2 karma

  1. Honestly, I just had my resume in a stack of resumes because one of my professors said they were hiring. They only hired one person that round and it was me so it was a pretty lucky 'right place, right time' type of deal.

Vaasuuu1 karma

Hi! I have been a fan for about 2ish years now. Love your videos! If you had the chance to go to Mars in your lifetime knowing that it would be a oneway trip would you go there?? BTW you deserve every single one of those 2M subs! Came from Twitter

_scienceftw_1 karma

Haha. Def not. I heard the wifi there sucks.

cucumbers9991 karma

what is your fave project ??

_scienceftw_1 karma

The automatic bullseye dartboard took me 3 years so I was really, REALLY pumped we pulled it off.