Testing the US Military’s Worst Idea

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An engineer came up with a plan to drop tungsten telephone poles from space - the idea has been seriously considered on multiple occasions, so we tested it. Head to brilliant.org/Veritasium to start your free trial. The first 200 will get 20% off Brilliant's annual premium subscription.

Massive thanks to Archisand for building such a beautiful sandcastle. / @greglebon

Huge thanks to John and Angie Miller for helping us with securing the shooting location and going above and beyond to make this shoot happen - highdesertlocations.com/

Thanks to Inland Empire Film Services and the San Bernardino County Film Office for portions of the video shot in the County of San Bernardino.

Massive thanks to Dr David Wright for the interview and providing invaluable guidance during the research for this video.

Here’s a great video about space-based missile defense - www.ucsusa.org/resources/spac...

Massive thanks to Adam Savage for being part of this video.

Additional photos from NASA and ESA.

USAF. (2003). The US Air Force transformation flight plan.

Preston, R., Johnson, D. J., Edwards, S. J., Miller, M. D., & Shipbaugh, C. (2002). Space weapons earth wars. Rand Corporation.

Wright, D., Grego, L., & Gronlund, L. (2005). The physics of space security. A Reference Manual, Cambridge.

DeBlois, B. M., Garwin, R. L., Kemp, R. S., & Marwell, J. C. (2004). Space weapons: crossing the US Rubicon. International Security, 50-84.

Baucom, D. R. (2017). The Rise and Fall of Brilliant Pebbles 1. In United States Military History 1865 to the Present Day (pp. 329-376). Routledge.

Hitchens, T., & Samson, V. (2004). Space-based interceptors: still not a good idea. Georgetown journal of international affairs, 21-29.

National Research Council. (2012). Making sense of ballistic missile defense: An assessment of concepts and systems for US boost-phase missile defense in comparison to other alternatives. National Academies Press.

Borger, J. (2005). Bush likely to back weapons in space. The Guardian, 19.

Special thanks to: Bernard McGee, James Sanger, Elliot Miller, Brian Busbee, Jerome Barakos M.D., Amadeo Bee, TTST, Balkrishna Heroor, Chris LaClair, John H. Austin Jr., OnlineBookClub.org, Eric Sexton, John Kiehl, Diffbot, Gnare, Dave Kircher, Burt Humburg, Blake Byers, Evgeny Skvortsov, Meekay, Bill Linder, Paul Peijzel, Josh Hibschman, Mac Malkawi, Mike Schneider, John Bauer, Jim Buckmaster, Juan Benet, Sunil Nagaraj, Richard Sundvall, Lee Redden, Stephen Wilcox, Marinus Kuivenhoven, Michael Krugman, Cy 'kkm' K'Nelson, Sam Lutfi

Written by Petr Lebedev, Derek Muller, and Emily Zhang
Filmed by Trenton Oliver, Derek Muller, Petr Lebedev, Emily Zhang, Raquel Nuno, and Eddie Lopez
Animation by Mike Radjabov, Fabio Albertelli, and Jonny Hyman
Edited by Trenton Oliver
Slow Motion Camera: Shawn Sanders and Anthony Corrales
Sandcastle Timelapse by Greg LeBon and Archisand
Phantom rental from Panny Hire LA
Helicopter Pilots: Rick Shuster and Cliff Fleming
Helicopter Safety Officer: Ryan Hosking
FPV Drone Pilots: Sammie Saing and Josh Ewalt
Production Assistants: Roman Bacvic and Eddie Lopez
Intern: Katie Barnshaw
Additional video/photos supplied by Pond5 and Getty Images
Music from Epidemic Sound
Produced by Derek Muller, Petr Lebedev, and Emily Zhang









コメント数 22 276
Sonia’s Way
Sonia’s Way 3 ヶ月 前
I like to imagine that Adam Savage just materializes whenever something fun like this is happening in the desert
monticore 162
monticore 162 5 日 前
The holy spirit of science. Summoned by cool experiments
I feel like Adam manifesting in situations like this is......a warning. Like he's not there to help with the mission. He's there to shove you away from something fast.
Featch 11 日 前
Adam is in superposition and at the same time is at every place where something like this is happening.
Sacrilicious 16 日 前
@Jim Nunya jammie hymen is my least favorite british dish.
Tre'von Cowen
Tre'von Cowen 18 日 前
It’s his summon spell
Jeff Walston
Jeff Walston ヶ月 前
Pretty much all they proved is that they put minimal thought into this and that it's hard to drop things precisely from a helicopter.
Franko 日 前
5:07 "CHINA". That's embarrassing.
notahotshot 4 日 前
​@Parents of Twins "He did get Adam's opinion. Didn't you hear him say 'why didn't you say that last week?" ? Obviously they discussed the experiment at least a little prior to the undertaking." That's not what Derek said. He said "Why didn't we have this conversation a week ago?" He was wishing he had discussed it with Adam, and had the information sooner. It is obvious they hadn't discussed it prior to the undertaking.
Christopher Bernhardt
They literally could have just put multiple ropes tensioned on either three sides on the top and bottom and it wouldn't have moved like this... or just had a rope long enough that it was out of the unstable air. The rods aren't a bad idea and are absolutely possible. SOMEHOW veritasium negated the fact that this "experiment" (helicopter play time) is an ENTIRELY different scenario than dropping something from space, specifically in terms of accuracy. Really frustrating to watch a bunch of people eyeball something and get it wrong and then say the thought out invention was bad
Gromm Ukraini
Gromm Ukraini 8 日 前
they should work on less weight - but with some sort of launching device/ giiving more start velocity. when you shoot the projectile it is easier to aim it. and idea is all about scling V. you can add more mass in real weapon. prototype should test the velocity factor.
Jordan Lyon
Jordan Lyon 9 日 前
You could attach an anchor to a rope within the pool that the weights slide down. You'd have height and precision dialed, and with some lines of tape on the "guide rope" you'd easily be able to measure the acceleration and speed.
Sungi ヶ月 前
As someone from the military. I assure you, this is not their worst idea.
Franko 日 前
Sungi, now tell us what country military u r in?
notahotshot 4 日 前
Thank you for your service, and for providing yourself as evidence that your statement is true.
tchevrier 7 日 前
bohba13 8 日 前
@Gromm Ukraini _terminator opening score begins_
Chris Norton
Chris Norton ヶ月 前
I can’t imagine how awkward this entire thing must have been. Watch people build sand castles, have Adam Savage literally appear for 10 seconds, and just attempt after attempt of poof, dust clouds 😂
tibor bogi
tibor bogi 10 日 前
@Markmagoo I think lot of engineers, theoretical scientists tend to underestimate practical issues. But may be I am wrong.
Markmagoo 18 日 前
Who could know it would be hard to aim when dangling a weight from a flying object in windy conditions /s
mynameisal7 ヶ月 前
They spent the time and money for sandcastles just to be like "We're dropping it on a walmart pool instead."
Andrew ヶ月 前
This experiment had about as much thought put into it as a middle school project.
mike Hammerbach
mike Hammerbach 17 日 前
That's a self report.
Dana Coleman
Dana Coleman 21 日 前
That's a pretty lousy thing to say about middle schoolers
Dave 25 日 前
It's an educational channel. You still learnt a ton don't worry. ahah.
Richard Horstketter
Dude, first off I love your channel. I've been an engineer 30+ years and I think you do a great job of making things interesting enough for me, but accessible to pretty much anyone. I agree that 'rods from God' doesn't seem remotely practical for multiple reasons. But I'm surprised you didn't mention a badass kinetic energy weapon that's been done already, the line of sight anti-tank missile or LOSAT. It was a pure kinetic energy missile, described to me as a bar of depleted uranium, about the size of a car axle, with a velocity of about 1 km/sec. Who needs explosive warheads? I was working for TI when they were partnered with Lockheed Martin developing this thing, and I once saw some confidential video that was much better than what you can find on JPvid. There were three steel plates, 8 inches thick and I guess 8X16 feet, standing like dominos in the desert. The guy introducing the video said 'What you're about to see is a large amount of kinetic energy converted rapidly into a large amount of light and heat." Engineers, right? We did indeed see a LOT of kinetic energy turn into a LOT of light and heat. This thing went through those plates like they were butter and kept going, the guy said they never found the missile. That was late 80's/early 90's, so who knows what someone's done since then? The faint of heart might want to skip this part. They wanted to see what would happen to a tank's crew, so they put some sheep in a boiler and shot the LOSAT at that. All they found of the sheep was little bits of wool around the exit hole.
l1mbo 12 日 前
@Wagyuary i mean could just refer to non stem ppl or just students instead of 'idiots'
Saito Dosan
Saito Dosan ヶ月 前
@Wagyuary Not even close lmao. You're really putting words in their mouth here.
George Bagwell
George Bagwell ヶ月 前
@Thomas Love 👏 👏 👏
Thomas Love
Thomas Love ヶ月 前
​@Wagyuary well... Many people find it hard to discover content anywhere that challenges the viewer with an above average IQ. The average IQ can be described as the 50th percentile of the population.... But it is more beneficial to think of the average IQ as the 25th percentile - 75th percentile This encompasses 60% of the population... Therefore 6 out of every 10th person is "average" when discussing Intelligence. The other 40% consist of 20% "below average" and 20% "above average" Much of the television, movies, and online content is centered at the average individual... Which alienates the top 20%, but which is still interesting to the bottom 20%.... Therefore you can see that almost all content would be tailored to reach the largest audience... Which will bore the hell out of the top 20%. All this to describe why someone with "above average intelligence" would greatly appreciate a channel that goes out of its way in order to cater to a small percentage of the population who doesn't get much media created for it.
Wagyuary ヶ月 前
I love the lead in: “I like how you give me just enough to feel smart and dumb it down for the idiots.” Classic
Joshua Headey
Joshua Headey 3 ヶ月 前
My favourite part is where Adam Savage appears out of nowhere, as if desert explosion tests just summon him 😂
Gromm Ukraini
Gromm Ukraini 8 日 前
he is a desert dust demon.
Anna Ptáková
Anna Ptáková ヶ月 前
@Ricardo Gomes Rodrigues do you have a point? One that is possibly related to the video?
Ricardo Gomes Rodrigues
The major issue here is what we mean by countries' “zone of influence”. Does it have an economic, social or political character? In my opinion, countries are the ones that lead this “character” of what we are generically calling here the “Zone of Influence”. From the creation of the European Union (E.U.), this idea spread that to create a “zone of influence” it was enough to join a group of countries with “similar interests”. I do not believe that “Zones of Influence” in the Global World in which we are living are formed by “similar interests”, but by the economic and cultural leadership that predominates in this area, which we are calling here “Zone of Influence”, or even countries with “related interests”. At the end of the day, those who define similar interests are companies willing to buy and sell, and in this process, disregarding the marketeers, we have a lot of “subjectivity” involved here. In addition to the sale of military equipment, the European Union (E.U.) would be willing to what kind of economic integration with Ukraine? To answer this question, it is better to investigate what kind of “economic integration” took place within this “Bloc” or “Zone of Influence” called by the name of European Union. For industrialized Italy there was an immense loss for industrialized northern Europe (Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Northern France and Holland). The question then is this; A “Union” of “similar interests” is not enough to define a “Block” or “Zone of Interests”. The economy of industrialized northern Europe is not big enough to contain all these “common interests” of so many countries with cultural, economic and historical traditions as diverse as the European Union. Many of these countries that are now part of the E.U.; they were part of great Empires, and obviously their cultural and historical “interests” at some point resurface, hence the conflicts between Northern, Southern and Central Europe. In the end, Berlin, Brussels, Amsterdam, Bern and Paris do not have the economic stamina to incorporate the common interests of Ukraine or the whole of Eurasia. There were too many promises and too little to deliver. This is clear from the ancient and fabulous promises of a single currency like the Euro. In the end, the Euro today looks more like a Reichsmark than anything else. And, this is actually the “Zone of Influence” of the European Union; where not everyone fits in this “Currency Zone” because of such diversified historical interests, from the Holy Roman-Germanic Empire, to the fabulous Portuguese and Spanish Empires, not to mention the still functioning one; the British Empire. Too many former empires for the same “Zone of Influence”. Believing is seeing, after all!
Anna Ptáková
Anna Ptáková ヶ月 前
@Ricardo Gomes Rodrigues first of all wrong video to reply with this. Second, Ukraine has a great acricultural potential that it always had, however during the Soviet Union people were STARVING TO DEATH there. Can your galaxy brain explain to me how they were doing better than in the time between the end of Soviet Union and the war?
Visual 39
Visual 39 ヶ月 前
I hit the like button on this video, not because it was good, but because it takes a lot of courage to publicly show your failures and I respect that.
Visual 39
Visual 39 15 日 前
@Random Name Harsh, but fair 😂
Random Name
Random Name 15 日 前
​@Markmagoo Yep, and the amount of copium he is huffing throughout the ending is hard to watch.
Markmagoo 18 日 前
The failure is that they ignored the scientific method and approached this no better than the dudes who drop things onto trampolines. A team of experts missed the mark on literally every single aspect of the experiment and were shocked when it didn’t work. I’m really considering not watching their content anymore for the ineptitude they just produced. Better to have not publicized such ignorance.
Visual 39
Visual 39 21 日 前
@neon You definitely have a point. To *not* upload _something_ would be a ton of wasted resources and time for him and his team. But I think the fact that it will make at least some money is contrasted by the worsened PR relations to his subscriber base. I see the video as a net failure, but to not do anything would have been just as bad. Kinda stuck between a rock and a hard place imo
neon 22 日 前
@Daveyou’re coping hard
LilacDoe ヶ月 前
You should have done the high drop to show it's destructive power. Just flown away from everybody and settled for drone footage. It'd have been nice to have seen since you had the resources on hand. Then again, I get how frustrating thar day must have been.
99CYE 23 日 前
I second this thought, though I imagine an explosion of that size would require a lot of permits, not to mention FAA having a thing or two to say about an object being dropped from 5km.
Jeremy Hewitt
Jeremy Hewitt ヶ月 前
didn't you and Adam figure out about the cylinders and fins in the pen projectile episode about things falling from the Empire State Building? you did basically a scaled down version of this in the desert with a helicopter and all the pens landed sideways.
I'm Jaime Rivera
maybe they filmed this before the pen episode lol
Random Name
Random Name 15 日 前
I'm pretty shocked at the lack of fins. How did nobody think about fins? They could have even made a guidance system instead of spending the money on sandcastles lol.
Turn-Based Gaming
Turn-Based Gaming 21 時間 前
@Sandar Absolutely impossible, no one has ever made a missile guidance system. You're right.
Sandar 6 日 前
@𒈨𒈛𒄩𒆠 Yeah, Mark Rober tried that and had that exact issues. You can't make a guidance missile system.
that's....illegal lmao. Not to mention publishing it publicly on yt. That's manufacturing illegal weapons.
Jeremy Wright
Jeremy Wright ヶ月 前
I like the “my biggest failure but also the army’s biggest failure” like nope.. they realized soon enough that it was not worth it. They could have at least tried a test drop from 3km 😭
Random Name
Random Name 11 日 前
Yeah, he is coping hard.
rethla 2 ヶ月 前
"We gonna drop rods from several kilometers up" Ok well that sounds hard but Veritasium probably knows what hes doing. **Pulls up mobile to get target GPS and gets into a helicopter with the payload just dangling freely a few meters under** Im surprised they didnt hit themself...
Karl with a K
Karl with a K 5 日 前
@The lost Tomato That was covered in the forward center of gravity portion, just for you to miss it, lol
The lost Tomato
The lost Tomato 5 日 前
@Karl with a K The point of the video wasnt to destroy a sand castle city, it was to simulate rods from god on a small scale. Attaching fins would not do that.
John H
John H 2 ヶ月 前
I get the enormity of trying to prove the theory, it knowing how smart they are, could they not have glued some RC fins or blade surfaces onto the road and steered it in manually? I think that the rods/cubes swinging at the top under the helicopter were a cause for missing due to the margin of error being amplified by the height of the drop. Really cool none the less!
Andre MRH
Andre MRH 2 ヶ月 前
@Rhys Roberts Both are equally bad. If it swings around, you can't aim at all. If you don't take the Coriolis Effect into account, you can't aim accurately.
Rhys Roberts
Rhys Roberts 2 ヶ月 前
@Dobacetr cheers for doing the maths! I don’t think the other guy appreciates that the projectile swinging wildly from the bottom of the helicopter is more of a concern than the earths rotation… kinda like telling a sniper who’s swinging a gun around that if he doesn’t take into account the Coriolis effect he’ll miss his target. Maybe lay down first and stabilise the gun.
Gemini Hi-Fi
Gemini Hi-Fi ヶ月 前
I was one of the first active duty combat videographers stationed inside an active wing unit. The amount of footage I've shot of things hitting mock cities in the desert is overwhelming.
ScribeSlendy 2 日 前
What was the most impressive one that you remember shooting and/or are allowed to talk about?
TheForestArcher ヶ月 前
If you solid-mounted the rod to the helicopter, to keep it from swinging, and added fins to the back, you would see a massive increase in accuracy. Also, accounting for wind would help.
cdreid9999 29 日 前
after thinking about it... i think he just got sooo excited by the idea he just halfassed it while giggling maniacly
Plasmaburndeath ヶ月 前
I think Adam should have built a contraption to launch the whole sand castle city into a rod just for the heck of it 🙂
Hannessomething ヶ月 前
I love your channel, I love your videos, and I love how you bring science to everyday people. I hope this video doesn't affect you too badly, as I can imagine that this expensive test not having worked out nearly as well as you (and we) wanted might give you a lot of stress.
Markmagoo 18 日 前
I hope they realize that we care less about the fancy sand castles getting demolished and care more about the science and learning. They failed at both on this one and it hurts to watch.
Uncensored Pilgrims
Uncensored Pilgrims 2 ヶ月 前
The fact that they didn't seem to anticipate that a weight dangling from a helicopter on a tether would be swinging all over the place is ... odd to say the least.
ScribeSlendy 2 日 前
​@qprett "think harder, not smarter" is the motto my girlfriend jokingly appointed me with. I'll often go about a solid idea in the stupidest way possible, just because I never stopped to consider optimizing my approach
Nofixd'ahdress ヶ月 前
@qprett I think you just outed yourself as not as smart as you think you are.
Malta ヶ月 前
Yeah like at least just attach more ropes for stability so it can't swing so wildly. Woulda cost like 10 bucks and a knife
Smile More
Smile More ヶ月 前
@Maker Space there's an idea.
Smile More
Smile More ヶ月 前
Let alone installing wings to help stabilize the objects..
Dark Cognitive
Dark Cognitive ヶ月 前
I'm really surprised you didn't think of the need to add fins to the rods to stop them tumbling over, that's the first thing i thought of when i saw them, and i instantly knew this wouldn't work. Even fins an inch deep would have done the job. I still think even with the fins, the wind would have hindered your aiming somewhat, but with enough tries i reckon you could have hit the sandcastles from 500 metres. Instead of using GPS (which i think was your second mistake, due to it's lack of accuracy at that distances) you could have just attached a laser to the Rod, then let it go when the laser dot is aiming at the target.
Shawn Cottier
Shawn Cottier 16 日 前
Anyone remember when Mark Rober did this with the egg drop. Realized they were trying to make a guided weapon LOL.. Thats all I was thinking of as I watched them attempting to do this.😁
Smile 8 日 前
This vid is very comedic to me idk if that's intentional. Hiring sand castle champions which I didn't expect, then 6:28 8:15 and 19:18 got me, and that 18:45 transition made me laugh as well, but I enjoyed every second of it.
Benjamin Honts
Benjamin Honts 21 日 前
I believe you can improve the test by adding fins to the cylinder as well as have it released from a fix tube on the helicopter so you get less wind and swaying in the line.
Marc ヶ月 前
There is a novel from 1966, "The moon is a harsh mistress", in which the idea of kinetic weapons from space is already featured. In the book it's rocks catapulted from a rogue moon colony.
ScribeSlendy 2 日 前
That's a solid deep cut right there ngl
Brandon Stephens
Brandon Stephens 2 ヶ月 前
Genuinely shocked at the scant amount of forethought that went into something with a budget this large.
CarsonAsWell 25 日 前
@Kithlan you pry mouth breathin rn 😂
Yoda 29 日 前
@antknee420 shh I wanna see a helicopter tied to the ground and then crash.
Paul Bedford
Paul Bedford ヶ月 前
It seems like he simply looked at the concept drawing and went "yep, that's the way that we should do it, no deviations necessary because if we deviate we are doing a different thing altogether" even if the concept they're testing is literally just dropping a heavy object to see what the damage will be.
Daniel Lozano
Daniel Lozano ヶ月 前
a fairly simple jig could have been used to stabilize and control the starting point of the rod fall. some welded-on fins could have stabilized the fall profile, not sure if some indentations on the tip itself could have helped creating a rotational force to further control the lateral deviations. I've seen better experimental considerations in youtube channels run by a dude in a basement. that's definitely what happens when you stop doing things because you're passionate about it and start doing them as a business
David Wührer
David Wührer ヶ月 前
They should have used a blimp instead of a helicopter.
Thorsby Guy
Thorsby Guy 15 日 前
You ought to have mentioned two things: 1.) That Jerry Pournelle was a clever and funny man who wrote the witty and original computer user blog, Chaos Manor, among his many other accelaimed writing accomlishments, and 2.) that kinetic weapons are a thing, but dropped from 20,000 ft, not from orbit, and combining a kinetic energy strike with a chemical explostion. Refer to the Barnes Wallis Tallboy of WWII or more recently, Bunker Buster bombs. Thanks for the video!
tyler worrell
tyler worrell ヶ月 前
Dude. I've been wondering about the circular craters from glancing/ off-perpendicular impacts for years!! Thank you for answering that!!
Randall Wegman
Randall Wegman ヶ月 前
Think Adam is thinking back to the experiment on Mythbusters where they shot bullets straight up. They bullets didn't come straight down but tended to rotate and fall on their sides.
edwardagura ヶ月 前
Would like to hear more about communications through a plasma field because that is how steerable hypersonic bodies (missies) will hit their targets if they cannot communicate with satellites to get gps coordinates.
Memeber Funk
Memeber Funk 6 日 前
Maybe you need a chamber mounted to the hele to avoid sway? Or even a separate attachment with a gyro built in to keep the rod lined up
I'm shocked at how little thought went into properly testing this idea, especially when compared to the amount of money and number of people involved.
Firedeath115 ヶ月 前
@Johnny Guitar Because hindsight isnt necessary to pick this apart. after the first time they saw the rod flapping around like a dick in the wind, literally anyone should have been able to look at it and say "Yea, needs a couple more ratchet straps instead of one". I mean bro really? that shouldnt have been an unforeseen issue that would require hindsight. Now, i would agree with the premise of the comment if we were sitting here talking about him not knowing some obscure law of fluid dynamics which would throw the accuracy off. its just common sense stuff like "If you hang something from 1 rope, it will swing, if you hang it from 3, it will swing... but a lot less" I mean this wasnt just some spur of the moment thing, you know he had to have planned out this whole thing for quite a while, getting the heli rented out, and the pro sandcastle builders on sight for a test of Rods from the Gods, only for him to forget about the most important part of the test... THE DAMN ROD.
Caelesti Gladii
Caelesti Gladii ヶ月 前
@CanadianNerdFighter True. Just watch Mark Robber's attempt at doing essentially the same thing. Experts basically told him to "Stop or we gonna put you in jail".
En théo
En théo ヶ月 前
Since Derek got all friendly with Bill Gates and Google, he seems to get lot of money for selling his soul. His channel went suddenly all-pro but presenting Gates as philanthropist really disappointed me.
Angeles tapuro
Angeles tapuro ヶ月 前
If you try this again, add fins, make the nose of the rod with lead or something a little more dense, add a solid frame to bottom of heli so payload doesn’t swing around, if it’s feasible maybe make the fins adjustable to make mid course adjustments? Just some thoughts I had while watching this
Anonto Rocky
Anonto Rocky ヶ月 前
If u really need to use rods u should use a rod that is heavier in lower end. Having center of gravity closer to the lower end will help with the tilt problem. Also, u can consider a barrel for shooting the rods. The rod will travel to a fixed path at the beginning, so the rest of the travel path is more predictable.
Joshua Steinke
Joshua Steinke ヶ月 前
it's wild that it only takes 6 months of funding to make this happen
Devilkin ヶ月 前
Doing this in a collab with the HowRidiculous team might be good. They have a track record of dropping stuff off of high stuff.
Chairman Meow
Chairman Meow ヶ月 前
How did they plan to generate the thrust to get these things into orbit? The rockets at the time could get giant tungsten rods into orbit? Anyway Id like to see this revisited maybe with some fins on the rods.
Dv Rrwd
Dv Rrwd 2 ヶ月 前
I find it hard to believe the engineering problems couldn't be worked out. At one time it was thought you couldn't hit a missile with another missile.
chevyboi78👈🏻 message nicegram prize
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Chief Gully
Chief Gully 2 ヶ月 前
@MidgetMan 420 like i said their are positives and penalties to all of it. Just depends if the risks and costs can be worked with within the scope of the system.
MidgetMan 420
MidgetMan 420 2 ヶ月 前
@Chief Gully What I had in mind was laser guidance. That or homing onto a transmitter. A laser is less risky, but susceptible to cloud cover. A beacon works at all times, and in every condition, but you do have to get it there. Advancements in technology have also made them much more difficult to trick. What I'm saying is that I'd gladly fund a project like this. This thing is freaking cool as heck.
Chief Gully
Chief Gully 2 ヶ月 前
@MidgetMan 420 targeting systems means comunication. This makes them vulnerable to ewarfare. So there are downsides other than cost. It's a question of ballance
beloved marmot
beloved marmot ヶ月 前
When he's talking to the professor the text he references goes on to say right after nuclear weapons: "Any other kinds of weapons of mass destruction." I feel like this rod might be a weapon of mass destruction.
TRN ヶ月 前
If the military really wanted it, I'm sure they could make it work.
Dave Morann
Dave Morann 5 日 前
I just watch the Peter stripol video where he built a helicopter out of a battery-powered Dremel putting an fpv camera and some radio control fins on multiple projectiles and then going kilometres up would have taken a couple days of forethought
A. F. Kopp Author
What if you had an aimed cannon with the tungsten rods. With the added acceleration, do you think that it would be more accurate?
Dragon ヶ月 前
Was anyone else wondering how much one of those full size tungsten rods would have cost to make lol
A D 3 ヶ月 前
I appreciate the honesty and I understand why you had to post it. But brother if you had spent an hour with a ballistic expert enquiring about a good way to showcase this it would have worked a million times better. And like everyone is suggesting, dropping the biggest weight from the heighest height you can just to see the crater size would be a much more enjoyable video than this. I won't think less of your content from one failure and i'm sure it's a very complicated process but this one felt really like a lack of forethought
Happy ヶ月 前
100% agreed, however he said that it was too dangerous to drop stuff from higher, it seems like they wanted to do that but opted not to for safety reasons. Like you say I expected more from this channel than to be defeated by the fact that objects swing when being carried by a helicopter, also the lack of fins
Sensei Security School
His main "result" seems to be finding that on the first day they try, a bunch of amateurs suck at aiming a weight slinging around the bottom of a helicopter. Aiming a kinetic energy weapon? Ask any sniper. Plenty of folks can put a kinetic projectile on to a 12" target from that 500 meters. Any trained soldier, not even a top expert, can hit targets several miles away on a ballistic trajectory with a cannon.
Voice Test
Voice Test 2 ヶ月 前
He's right in saying that electricity doesn't "flow" through wires like water through a pipe. The charge does though.
SpecialOne0077 ヶ月 前
To add to all the things you should have been able to think through here: the actual velocity of the heli compared to the ground is different enough to matter at 1500ft (see vertical coriolis effect, Eötvös Effect). Depending on how far from the equator you were, the pole could have gone up to 20 kph faster than the ground. For real though, no fins?
Ju Ga
Ju Ga 5 日 前
Congratulations on the experiment, the video! You rock!
Ivarsic 15 日 前
I knew you were gonna fail before this video even started. You didn’t calculate for so many things, I was shocked.
krow flin
krow flin ヶ月 前
Sand castle builder is a career i never knew existed. I could've lived without knowing that but I'm happy I do.
Philip Whitehouse
It's amazing how close this is to being the same problem as the Egg Drop video from Mark Rober
RPGillespie 3 ヶ月 前
This seemed like a "lot of money, not a lot of thought" video. No one thought about how the rods were going to hit their targets until the day of?? Fins are a bare minimum, you could have even done some gps-based bang bang course corrections with an arduino or something. Of course then you are basically designing a precision guided bomb like Mark Rober noted in his egg drop video.
WozzaFlax 28 日 前
Shorter strap imo
TrailDude ヶ月 前
@Justin Green Good catch! I think your memory got it right. Though it would be more certain if the character had been Gerald Purnell.
Justin Green
Justin Green ヶ月 前
@Edward Paulsen Hey, question, man: I've watched many of his videos, but am not as familiar with him over time as you are - can you briefly inform me of/summarize for me how his content has fallen off, with time, in terms of his competence in his research/knowledge/preparedness/explanations/conclusions? Would be highly appreciated - his topics and questions are interesting, of course, and I was impressed by his successful challenge of the guy offering a reward for a satisfactory explanation/demonstration of how that "land sail" (wheeled vehicle) might generate any net-forward propulsion... And also impressed by his other videos I've studied. BUT - _this_ video, from its conception; to his competence IN it, across the entire thing; to his decision to publish and profit from it anyway (profit which was ill-gained, and therefore knowingly/intentionally hidden behind a bait-and-switch title, which therefore, of course, could only then mutually exacerbate our perceived offense, among its misrepresentative clickbaity existence, its true content, and its deducible profit motive). So I'm wondering how he got here, from there. (!) Thanks...
Justin Green
Justin Green ヶ月 前
@TrailDude Off-topic, but I'm now suddenly wondering if the name of that author, Pournelle, was the inspiration for the character in _The Martian_ of Rich Purnell (sp??? I forget!!) - an homage?? (Especially given that character's plot contribution, his heroic eureka moment/life-saving solution, in the domain of mass/trajectory/speed/time dynamics and strategy - germane to that of kinetic weapons, no?! Quote: "Rich Purnell is a steely-eyed missile-man," if my memory serves correctly...)
TheSnowman 2 ヶ月 前
@Rxtomix yeah I guess but the government would still probably give them a huge fine.
Fail Often
Fail Often ヶ月 前
Using a sight from the ground would have been a good idea. A laser or a camera with crosshairs pointed perfectly vertical or even adjusting for minor wind drift.
Kayla Marie
Kayla Marie ヶ月 前
I wonder if you had scaled the rod down, put fin stabilization on the back of it and dropped it from a hot air balloon from 500 meters could you have hit your target? Based on current events in the US, balloons appear to be almost impossible to detect..even ones the size of 3 buses lol.
Travis Richey
Travis Richey ヶ月 前
So, there was a video recently where a team dripped a giant rubber band ball from a helicopter and clearly showed how hard it was to hit a target, including the swinging of the ball while seemingly hovering still. My thought would have been to use a 3-point mount on the bottom of the helicopter.. is there any reason this wouldn't have worked? ~Trav
Backyard Russia
Backyard Russia ヶ月 前
They got closer without using GPS though. if you have three people line the helicpoter up over the pool from three different points you should be right over it when you drop it. that would at least give you a control to measure the effect of the wind.
Malta ヶ月 前
Thinking something similar myself lol, I think it would have been easy to use more straps
Xavier Zaballero
Xavier Zaballero ヶ月 前
The only situation this would be useful in a war would be if your enemy has control of a whole planet meaning that you can almost hit any spot and it will mean something.
Jerry Phillips
Jerry Phillips ヶ月 前
You need to stabilize the weight, so it does not swing.
brookswift 2 ヶ月 前
I am so confused by how thoughtless this "experiment" was but how well researched the rest of the content was, even with the lamp shading by adam savage and later admitting to "screwing up", it felt more like a drunken idea hastily executed without anyone stopping to think than a high budget science demonstration.
Deputy Nordburg
Deputy Nordburg ヶ月 前
@ABH It's the Hollywood dilemma. Hollywood: War Bad, Stop now! Also Hollywood: War movies great, Let me be the star!
ABH ヶ月 前
@Deputy Nordburg If JPvidrs don't feel comfortable "creating weapons" for their videos, maybe they should just not test weapons ideas in the first place? Like "let's test a de-facto kinetic weapon of mass devastation" and then "oh no we can't do that because testing a weapon means we actually have to build a weapon".
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David Smith
David Smith 2 ヶ月 前
Along with the experiment being so sloppy, the title is terrible as well. Why do we have to denigrate the US Military for clicks?
Ezekiel Lord (Zeke)
Ezekiel Lord (Zeke) 2 ヶ月 前
@chaNce they should have placed a large block of some sort of metal maybe the size of the pool or city and dropped a rod on it or something. Sand isn't very durable (duh) so you'd figure with the previous statements building up to the experiment they would use a more durable material, but no. Sand.
chrisrodgers855 ヶ月 前
A recurve style metal spring steal bow mounted to the bottom of the helicopter. You could’ve used leaf springs from a truck. Then Clamp a pole to where your hand would hold the bow and to a swivel point on the bottom of the helicopter now create retention clip, holding your steel rod or fletching and have an elastic cord to accelerate a guy in a helicopter cranks up the bow until it reaches its max (look up hand, crank crossbows )and then he hits the release, and it shoots the ride down to the ground..
Redleg Gunner
Redleg Gunner ヶ月 前
I am not sure this applies, but how much does wind affect the trajectory? Something like "Rods of the Gods" would have to otake roitation of the earth as well. Right? When i was a younger man, i was in the artillery, wind speed was taken into consideration for calculations.
NebulaStudios1 ヶ月 前
Sometimes the thing you deploy as a deterrent just needs to instill fear and not necessarily work.
dielaughing73 ヶ月 前
Yeah everyone's saying it would be hard to target accurately, but that doesn't matter if you just want to cause indiscriminate destruction
Danielle King
Danielle King ヶ月 前
this idea was used in a recent Hollywood movie as a mad president releases one of these rods from a satellite.A scary idea for a weapon as its more likely to be used as it is cheap and theres no radiation or nuclear fallout but it potentially could destroy entire cities with just one strike
hossein mohammadi
Well at least this video was a good show of the reality that doing things and calculating things are two different things 😁
Sonicalex0 3 ヶ月 前
Wish there was a point in the experiment that the goal switch from accuracy to "lets see how big crater get from dropping really high" and proceed to have everyone really far away until it lands.
Steve Mazza
Steve Mazza ヶ月 前
@Sky Lark Those bombers had to deal with anti-aircraft fire. If they had clear skies, sunny days, and friendly territory, they could have done a much more accurate job.
with the way it deviated at 500m, if they went up to like 10km, it'd hit somewhere in russia and start the 3rd world war
Rock Steady
Rock Steady ヶ月 前
IF the object is swinging north to south you have an idea where it will land.
Hovant ヶ月 前
typical mythbusters ever since they got big, "a firecracker needs to go off for a test, so we booked an entire bomb range and we'll be on the other side of the country from it - for insurance reasons"
bluefmi 2 ヶ月 前
@daddymuggle "What has really been shown here is not that the weapon is unfeasible, but that it wouldn't work for the stated purposes" i believe the stated purpose was bunker buster, especially the bunkers where nukes are and your words about this were "The first pole completely burying itself is more impressive than obliterating a sand building. " so i think that you already agree, the stated purpose was achieved
Space ヶ月 前
Man, you managed to turn your failure into an interesting content. You adaptation skills are remarkable Thank you for interesting content
WarPig ヶ月 前
Any potential in using a guide cable anchored to p.o.i? Even at lower altitudes potentially?
Jack Wolfe
Jack Wolfe 18 日 前
13:40 my confusion is, the thing is swinging wildly, did you ever consider shortening the tether? It would be more stable from a more ridged drop point.
What a cool way to express your art, in sand castles! Or a sand city!
Este Wiggill
Este Wiggill ヶ月 前
Many years ago I either read a book or saw a movie about these rods being used as a weapon.
David Heigl
David Heigl 2 ヶ月 前
I'm a little shocked that no smaller-scale testing was done prior to the full-scale "helicopters and sand castle professionals" part was brought out. A drone with a piece of rebar would have taught you a lot about the need for targeting apparatus, the lack of fins, etc.
Evan DeRolf
Evan DeRolf 15 日 前
This guy makes an entire experiment based on dropping things from altitude and didn’t once think about fins? 😂
Shaloth ヶ月 前
I love how in the footage the pool is perfectly intact on all angles of the cube drop and when they get a close up the pool looks decimated lmao.
Renko Z
Renko Z ヶ月 前
I would have like to have seen some Light Detection and Ranging, ray casting technology. Great video!
wranglerboi 28 日 前
After watching this video, I'm now wondering how ANY ICBM could ever hit its intended target--and yet they supposedly do (even the infamous V2s from WWII). One thing that stood out for me was the swing of the items being dropped. While the commentary implied it was due to the wind, it's also possible that some of that may have been due to the motion harmonics of the helicopter itself. No matter how "steady" the pilot holds the 'copter, there is always a slight wobble motion that eventually gets passed to the suspended item. It's like a person holding a string to which a marble or tennis ball is attached. No matter how steadily the person holds the top of the string, the minute rhythms of the human body (breathing, heartbeat, etc.) generate an unintended rotational motion/wobble.
XENJINX 11 日 前
i can tell you why it missed at higher altitudes which i think you may have already guess idk. but to hit something from very high even if you are right on top of it from a gps viewpoint because of the curvature of the earth as well as the plane(not aircraft) at which you are on is rounded and therefore to hit something from high up you need to adjust for that curvature(if my wording isnt right the concept itself is what im trying to get across)
Isaac Boone
Isaac Boone 2 ヶ月 前
There are two main problems I see with Derek's setup: 1) Dropping the payload from what is effectively a pendulum is going to make it nearly impossible to aim, and 2) as Adam pointed out, you need some fins on the rods if you want them to land perpendicular to the ground.
Septeus7 2 ヶ月 前
@WarpRulez You could eliminate 99.99% of swinging by launching from a rigid chute/tunnel and aim directly with a 15$ pointer laser. Laser's are used for guided rocket systems for a reason.
Septeus7 2 ヶ月 前
In addition to the fins you'd want the launch from a rigid chute to eliminate the pendulum swinging. I'd also use a pointer laser to point exactly where you are aiming at on the ground. You'd still likely have a slight shift off target due to the wind and any slight rocking movement from the copter upon launch but if you guided it from a protective chute you'd be able to aim very easily with a 15$ dollar pointer laser. If you are going spend all that money on the building team and pilots then a not adding a 15$ pointer laser is inexcusable.
The Pudge
The Pudge 2 ヶ月 前
The GPS isnt a perfect way to locate yourself
Zip Zap
Zip Zap 2 ヶ月 前
Mark Eastridge
Mark Eastridge 2 ヶ月 前
Thanks. Stopped watching after reading this
Joel 25 日 前
Another consideration I would have made, is the length of the tether holding the rod. It’s so long it cannot be used very precisely and creates significant velocity on the rod in a given direction. They should have reduced the length of the tether, perhaps even eliminate the tow strap entirely and attach the payload with the helicopter already off the ground. To drop such a projectile would be significantly easier to hit precise targets, since there’s not an additional vector added to the projectile. An easy at home demonstration of this is to go on a balcony or 2nd-floor window with a small ball, put a paper plate as a target lined up directly below, put the ball on a string, swing it a couple times so it’s oscillating like in the rod was shown to be here, then attempt to drop it onto the target. Repeat the experiment without adding oscillation, and it will certainly hit the target the second time. If there’s a reason they were not allowed to attach the payload in this manner, that’s quite unfortunate.
aaron best 747
aaron best 747 ヶ月 前
5:37 wouldn't it be more realistic to hire carpenters and build the buildings out of wood and nails, or even hire welders to give the buildings a metal frame???
Colors Of Doom
Colors Of Doom ヶ月 前
I cant believe they didnt account for it swinging like a pendulum in the wind like- what did they expect.
Oooonumbers ヶ月 前
For sling loads, accelerate it in a perpendicular direction to stop a swing. So if it's swinging left or right, speed up or slow down just a little and if it's swinging forwards and backwards a shallow turn will get it to stop. I've never tried hitting a target with a sling load release, but I would try creeping up to the target at 10ish knots ground speed, into the wind, and give a gentle decel slightly short of the target with the release happening a second or two before the coordinates. With the load always under some positive acceleration, it'd be much more controllable. When to release would be trial and error depending on how strong the winds are.
D.plomat 23 日 前
Obviously requires some guidance system. While that would be not too hard on this setup (like someone else already said, some standard RC FPV system would do), for a full-scale orbital one, looks like the expert scientists didn't manage to get it done in a functionnal enough and economically viable way.
M1K3 Droid
M1K3 Droid 2 ヶ月 前
Your aiming problem was because your rods were pendulums, so they had significant lateral velocities that threw them off target. you should have had them in hardpoint mounts under the chopper so they'd be dropped with zero lateral velocity.
M1K3 Droid
M1K3 Droid 2 ヶ月 前
@ZekeLeviJr because he's trying to debunk the very idea of rods from god as a viable weapons system. the establishment thinks rods from god are a first strike weapon to hit an enemy's missiles before they can launch.
Alim ZazaZ Music
Alim ZazaZ Music 2 ヶ月 前
Im concerned about the safety and handling changes of the heli
ZekeLeviJr 2 ヶ月 前
This guy is really smart, how did he not think of this before shooting.
Pills _
Pills _ 2 ヶ月 前
Honestly, i would have expected some kind of gimbal mount. A hardpoint is definitely better than a rope, but you still need to account for the helicopter moving. Even a few inches will add up over a 500m drop distance, not to mention 2-3km.
Andrew C. A.
Andrew C. A. 2 ヶ月 前
in addition the design involves having fins to keep them straight.
Robert Huron
Robert Huron ヶ月 前
Adam,if you want to have a much more accurate aim,you need to know about the WW2 Norden Bomb sight! That mechanism/ computer was designed to take all factors[then known],to drop bombs on target! Hopefully there should be someone who knows where to find a working model,and has the instruction manual! Anyway,good hunting! Thank you! 😇!
Uldis Barbans
Uldis Barbans ヶ月 前
Well today we have guidance by computer. Steering the rod like SpaceX steers their rockets would beat any bomb sights
MysteriousKyle 17 日 前
You’ll need guiding fins and a targeting system because it’s generally impossible otherwise, imagine dropping this from space and missing the target be a country. It would also be traveling so fast that nothing would be able to catch or hit it maybe an explosion near it mess with its trajectory but with a guidance system it could just reorient and be back on target
U4ia FUBAR 00
U4ia FUBAR 00 ヶ月 前
Adam Savage is saying to himself- "you should have let me design the projectiles" 😂
James C
James C ヶ月 前
The 3 body problem is also a good book about aliens using kinetic energy. Plus an added dimension of time and space
Frank Schatzeriv
Frank Schatzeriv ヶ月 前
Would adding an inner hole that passes through the center help with stability, kind of like the barrel of a rifle with groves.
William Balogh
William Balogh 2 ヶ月 前
Honestly I'm surprised about how elementary this set up was
Evren 2 ヶ月 前
@Dulumu (nath) Ah, gotcha! I misunderstood :)
Dulumu (nath)
Dulumu (nath) 2 ヶ月 前
@Evren i agree with your point. It is only relevant insofar to my curiosity about the cause of his expertise.
Evren 2 ヶ月 前
@Dulumu (nath) Does it matter what he does? This video was made for the public to view and he's merely pointing out that the setup was elementary, which I'm sure most of us can agree, was. It's not like he's saying anything bad about Veritasium, almost all of their contact is fantastic, they just dropped the ball here is all.
Wyatt Roncin
Wyatt Roncin 2 ヶ月 前
@Ģirts Cinkus Apply positive collective to tension the wire and keep it there. There's also these things called mechanical fuses.
Ģirts Cinkus
Ģirts Cinkus 2 ヶ月 前
@Wyatt Roncin Bad call.. unless the wire is completely stretched, imagine it drops and gains speed in the 200 k/h + and then suddenly get tangled on the wire because the copter hovered down a bit. They would most likely rip the wire best case, worst case crash the whole damn heli murdering all of the passangers. Its bloody human to do mistakes and not prepare properly, but its worse to do half baked preparations and rely on them.
Ninghizhida ヶ月 前
You could fit it with a JDAM-kit used for directing free falling bombs maybe...? I don't think guiding it will be a problem.
Vardhan Shah
Vardhan Shah ヶ月 前
"So, summarise your plan again" "Lets drop a rod from the space...." "Really really fast" "yes really really fast"
ParaVet ヶ月 前
So watching this kinda makes me think about superhero media. All those times someone is slammed into the ground so hard they just sink into the ground, usually in an outline of their body. But it'd be cool to see it cause an explosion and leave a crater instead. Surprised none of the science channels that cover need media has talked about it.
David Jernigan
David Jernigan ヶ月 前
It would seem for a cylindrical object to fall nose first the majority of the mass would need to be in the nose end. Solid rod with a pipe extension welded to it possibly.
Chris Ragan
Chris Ragan ヶ月 前
Gladdens my heart to see Anathem referenced in this video... SUCH a worthwhile read.
Andriamanitra 3 ヶ月 前
All this crew and no one stopped to think about how hard it would be to hit the target? I think the story would have been just as interesting (or maybe even more interesting considering how underwhelming the impacts ended up being) without any targets, just going for the maximum drop height and letting it fall wherever. That would have at least demonstrated the power of kinetic energy, assuming you designed a projectile with high enough terminal velocity.
Bryce Dearden
Bryce Dearden 3 ヶ月 前
@Taco No Baka In a developed area sure but they are in the desert. There isn’t an abundance of cell towers to triangulate off of.
neodragon1988 3 ヶ月 前
​@nanoflower1 Powerful telephoto lenses exist that allow one to see from a half mile out easily. The helicopter is easy to see from miles out. Just got to make the payload easier to see, bright paint job, lights, or streamers to help track it down. Could even rig the flares with a small cord on the igniter so the friction fuse only is pulled when the heavy rod is released from the helicopter. The camera crew and others can be safely out of the impact zone, while still following the action all the way down to the impact. Easy Peazy.
blue redbrick
blue redbrick 3 ヶ月 前
During the past few months I've seen russian soldiers being hit with mortar shells inside narrow trenches from drones. I sincerely love this channel but this was underwhelming.
SicarScarr 3 ヶ月 前
Especially when they already did a similar test with dropping coins from a helicopter and found it really difficult to aim.
I know nothing about psychics and even I was wondering why they didn’t take wind speed into account when dropping.
Jeremy Preston
Jeremy Preston ヶ月 前
I love how almost all the comments are just calling out the shoddy planning
AUSPetrol ヶ月 前
I wonder if you could put a cheap-ish (aka disposable) gps and accelerometer on the rod itself, and track when it's at a point in the swing that is likely to fall in the correct vicinity.... I imagine the small wobbles prior to the drop would be the major factor, a small sideways velocity compounds quite quickly over those sorts of altitudes. I might have to work out the equations for that now. For.... science....
Erikulum ヶ月 前
With the information provided I'd be shocked if there's not a small bunch of these ready to go somewhere in orbit.
Sentient AI
Sentient AI ヶ月 前
This is about as good a test for rods from god as me sitting on my roof dropping marbles onto army men in my front yard.
Bradly S
Bradly S ヶ月 前
@Wilfred Darr you missed the point 100%. Can't educate a fool!
Mushie_Man ヶ月 前
​@Wilfred DarrI
Wilfred Darr
Wilfred Darr ヶ月 前
@Bradly S We have MOAB for those situations.
Raphael Ferreira
Raphael Ferreira ヶ月 前
Definitely not one of your successful experiments. But yes, the concept is fascinating. Thanks for the work you put into it.
Niklas Falk
Niklas Falk ヶ月 前
Drop it from a crane or a wire strung between two peeks. Then you can even drop something as heavy as the rod and only adjust the speed variable. Or you shoot something at 3km/s and adjust the weight variable. Both would be best.
Krichnu ヶ月 前
This video was like those UFO documentaries that show nothing and leave with more questions than answers.
Nosho ヶ月 前
Can't say this Myth Buster-flavoured Veritasium is my favourite flavour of Veritasium.
Nosho 15 日 前
@Colin Murphy indeed!
Colin Murphy
Colin Murphy 15 日 前
Mythbusters would never have tried this with so little forethought or such reckless disregard for safety.
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