Home / Science / News /  Watch: Former NASA engineer drops an egg from space; here's what happens next

Egg is fragile and can easily break if dropped. But have you heard of an egg when released from a height doesn't break. 

YouTuber and former NASA scientist Mark Rober often shares experimental scientific videos on his channel. One of his video recently went viral wherein he drops an egg from space without break breaking it. 

His original idea was to drop an egg from the world's tallest building Burj Khalifa. But he scrapped the plan and said, “Humans are always builing taller building and so if I really wanted to future proof this record, I realised that I would need to go all the way to the top and straight to outer space."

He later went and said that he started this journey three years ago. He also said that he did not know that this would be the most physically, financially and mentally draining video he would have ever attempted.

Explaining his initial plan, he said, “The plan was to clamp an egg to the front of a rocket, then attach that rocket to a weather balloon and take it up to space. Once there, the weather balloon release it and just by using gravity only, the rocket would eventually accelerate past Mach 1 breaking the speed of sound and then would autonomously adjust the four fins on the back to steer itself to the target location and then 300 feet above the ground, it would release the egg which would free fall onto a mattress that we did place on the ground."

While conducting the test, he failed and the eggs ended up breaking. He, then took advise from his friend Adam Stelzner who is a PhD from Caltech and also the chief engineer for perseverance and Mars sample return. Stelzner immediately spotted a fatal flaw in the experiment.

After understanding the changes, Rober completely scrapped the old design and spent a couple of months designing and building a new system that borrowed heavily from the Curiosity Landing.

Explaining the new plan, he said, “We would still go on space on a weather balloon but this time, but this time the rocket would have fins that didn't move and it would be three times as long and four times as heavy to guarantee that we would get the egg to supersonic speeds on the way down.

He further explained, “Just like NASA separates the crew stage in the upper atmosphere and then uses arrow braking to dissipate a bunch of energy and speed, we would separate from the back half of the rocket about half way down after we'd already broken the sound barrier and because this is now weighed much less, it would naturally error break and reduce its speed to the new lower terminal velocity."

The landing which was previously decided on mattress was then decided on a dessert and was also successfully conducted.

The video which was shared on 25 November is currently trending on YouTube. It has garnered 18 million views. The video also received applaud from people. One user wrote, "I literally gasped when I saw the zero pressure balloon prematurely popped. Watching engineering fail and succeed simultaneously is refreshing. I work hard to teach my kids that failing is not the goal but it is not bad. Just part of the process". Another user commented, “shots of the earth from space never fail to fill me with awe."

Some other wrote, “Can I just say this video deserves a like, the amount of thoughts, expense and work this guys puts in every video is just something else! Hats off to you buddy."

Another user commented, “This guy does so much and doesn’t get enough credit. Keep the work up. I know this is what everybody says but you are truly inspiring for so many people. I’ve been watching your videos for over 3 years!" Another commented, “I love that they keep in the failures and not just make it seem like it's perfect and easy."

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