Latest from the Kansas City Space Pirates

I received this email today from Brian Turner, captain of the Kansas City Space Pirates:

The climber climbed!
Just from the floor to the ceiling of the shop. But it has proven that our drive system works with the climb cable. This is all new stuff this year and we are happy with the design we have so far.

Beam steering 101
We have now steered a beam with full XYZ control. We have assembled the parts from ThorLabs and National Instruments and things are progressing nicely.

Solar panel
The solar panel is finished and should be mounted on the climber by the end of next week.

The International Space Development Conference (ISDC) in Washington DC was something of a let down as we only uncovered 2 leads for funding and one of those has already turned us down. I suspect that I would have done better if I had made it in on the Wednesday business plan presentations. It was a good networking opportunity. For example, I met a person that showed me where to get a part we were having trouble finding.

Here we are back at the money issue. At this stage of the project we are spending money as fast as we raise it. I have been forced to delay purchases while trying to get the money for the items. This could bite us later. Fund raising is now directly competing with building time. I hate it when that happens.

Some aspects of the project are falling behind, but others are right on time thanks to the progress made this week. I will be focusing on the stragglers this week. The competition organisers have not finalised the actual competition yet either. So a delay is possible.  Normally I would want to keep the pressure on our competitors, but at this point an extra month would be welcome. We are supposed to hear about this soon.

Brian Turner
KC Space Pirates