Who is Mark Rober? A Journey from NASA to YouTube Fame

By embracing challenges and taking calculated risks, he has built a global following and inspired countless individuals to pursue their passions.

Mark Rober, a former NASA engineer and entrepreneur, has had a remarkable journey from his early days at NASA to his current success as a YouTuber. Born in 1979, Rober was fascinated by science and engineering from a young age. Even as a child, he displayed a keen interest in understanding how things worked, often tinkering with various gadgets and devices. This innate curiosity and passion for problem-solving would later shape the trajectory of his career.

Rober pursued his passion by studying mechanical engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, where he honed his technical skills and developed a deep understanding of the principles of engineering. After completing his undergraduate degree, Rober went on to earn a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, further solidifying his expertise in the field.

NASA and YouTube

Rober’s career at NASA spanned nearly a decade, during which he worked on several high-profile projects, including the Curiosity rover mission to Mars. His experience at NASA not only honed his engineering skills but also instilled in him a passion for sharing science with the world. Rober was fascinated by the wonders of space exploration and the cutting-edge technology that enabled it. He recognized the importance of communicating these scientific advancements to the general public, as he believed that inspiring and educating people about the marvels of science could have a profound impact on society.

In 2011, Rober started his YouTube channel, initially focusing on simple digital Halloween costumes. However, his content quickly evolved to include intricate scientific experiments, ranging from building a giant Nerf gun to creating a high-speed camera that could capture a bullet in flight. Rober’s engaging and informative approach to these projects earned him a massive following of 29 million subscribers and 4 billion views, making him a true YouTube sensation.

Overcoming Language Barriers

As Rober’s videos gained popularity, he faced a significant challenge: a language barrier. Despite the partial solutions provided by captions and Artificial Intelligence, the emotional essence of his content was often lost in translation. Rober recognized that his message and the excitement he conveyed in his videos were not always effectively communicated to viewers who spoke different languages. To overcome this obstacle, Rober decided to invest in multi-language content by hiring voice actors to dub his videos.

This move not only ensured accurate translations but also maintained the energetic and straightforward vibe of his content. By taking the time and effort to make his videos accessible to a global audience, Rober demonstrated his commitment to sharing his passion for science with people from all walks of life. Today, his videos are dubbed in 16 languages, from Spanish to Hindi, allowing viewers around the world to fully engage with and appreciate the scientific wonders he presents.

Advice for Success

In his commencement speech at MIT, Rober shared three pieces of advice for success: embracing naive optimism, framing failures, and fostering meaningful relationships. He emphasized the importance of taking risks and being open to new experiences, even when the outcome is uncertain. Rober believes that a sense of naive optimism, or the willingness to tackle challenges without being overly burdened by the potential for failure, is a crucial ingredient for success. He encouraged the graduates to approach their endeavors with a positive and curious mindset, embracing the unknown and seeing it as an opportunity for growth and discovery.

Rober also highlighted the value of framing failures in a constructive manner, recognizing that setbacks are an inevitable part of the journey to success. By reframing failures as learning experiences, individuals can gain valuable insights and use them to propel themselves forward. Finally, Rober stressed the importance of nurturing meaningful relationships, both personal and professional. He believes that fostering strong connections with others, whether it’s collaborating with colleagues or building a supportive network, can greatly enhance one’s chances of achieving their goals and finding fulfillment in their work.


Rober’s journey from NASA to YouTube fame is a testament to his passion for science and engineering. By embracing challenges and taking calculated risks, he has built a global following and inspired countless individuals to pursue their passions. His commitment to sharing science with the world has made him a driving force in the world of content creation, and his advice for success is a valuable reminder for anyone seeking to make a positive impact.

Rober’s story serves as an inspiration for aspiring scientists, engineers, and content creators, demonstrating that with dedication, creativity and a willingness to step outside of one’s comfort zone, it is possible to turn one’s dreams into reality and make a lasting impact on the world.

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