I received this email update from Brian Turner, Captain and Fearless Leader of the Kansas City Space Pirates:
“In the spring-time a pirate’s fancy turns to thoughts of… packages, showing up via UPS. That’s right, It’s build season and while I wait impatiently for said packages I thought I would fire off a long overdue update.
As I mentioned we are receiving and assembling parts. I am not sure that we are still ahead of schedule but father time is not breathing down our necks just yet. We have been a little distracted by various things including a national television engagement that is coming up (more on that later).
Our testing in Detroit went quite well and our photo cell vendor is working on our order. If we can get the cells to match projections in the competition we should be able to make good on the 5 m/s goal I set out a few months back.
We have a major new sponsor to announce. Thorlabs. They will be providing most if not all of our optical needs. This covers one of the major expenses we were facing so I am exceptionally excited about this one. We also have a major automation vendor in the works for sponsorship, but it is not quite in the bag yet, so I will leave that announcement for later.
We also have added an expert machinist to the team. This in an important step for the precision machining needed to make the optical actuators needed to aim the laser.
KC Space Pirates”
As this team has well-proven in the past two competitions, they are a serious threat to win it all – I’m going to be very interested to see how their foray into laser-power turns out.