$500 Tiers Shipped & Update Frequency Explanation
Recently we have had several people message us through Kickstarter asking why there haven’t been updates coming out lately for our project. I (Mark) am the primary communicator and web presence person for STAR Systems, and I take sole responsibility for the lack of updates of our project. It’s unfair to all of our loyal supporters, regardless of your backer level, and it portrays an image of stagnation and poor reputation that I do not want our project, or myself, to maintain. That being said, STAR Systems has continued to remain active, we are still working on our project, so let me share with you some personal details of what's happened since our last update.
First off, I don’t like sharing personal details, but I feel it’s appropriate to attempt to justify the delay in update. My wife and I had our first child on Labor day! There were some minor concerns/complications prior to and during the delivery, but we have a beautiful, healthy baby boy (James). As a first time parent, I had no idea how much work it is to prepare for and take care of a child! As the primary owner of our web and media information, all of my online updates stopped, and I am just beginning to now feel like I have some kind of routine going again.
If you recall, several months ago Morris Jarvis had to go to Ireland for a few weeks for his regular full time job. He has since been called back there for a longer term assignment. He will be out there for a longer period of time, coming back into town once every couple of months. The core team still has access to the shop, and we are still doing development work on our rocket motors there. We are still going to perform our motor tests without him there but the large 10” motor firing will be timed when he is in town and available to support. Morris is also focusing on other needed tasks, such as our 3D Model development, and analysis of the spacecraft's mission profile. Due to this new development, we are now holding weekly remote meetings via Skype. Skype is working reasonably well, but I’d like to use something a little more professional. Does anyone have any group meeting software recommendations that is cheap/free?
This was an unexpected development, but that’s life. Anyone who has run a business or large project is familiar with unexpected challenges. We are not on track with our pre-funding timeline. Looking back, that was an extremely optimistic schedule for our work. That is certainly a lesson learned for our group. Even though our schedule is delayed, we are still within our budget expectations to perform what we set out to do with your help. Ultimately, we’re still focused on still meeting our Kickstarter objectives, and our long term goal of creating a fully developed suborbital spacecraft.
$500 Reward Tiers
It seemed like a good idea, at the time, to develop hand crafted models of the Hermes Spacecraft. Morris had created the original model, and we thought the development time would be quick. I think if you took all of the time invested in all of the other tiers combined, and doubled it, you would have the amount of time dedicated towards these models. The individuals who took advantage of this option are in for a real treat, because we truly will never do it like this again. I am pleased to say that the Hermes Models are all finished and have been shipped out to their appropriate backers. You should have already received them or be receiving them soon, depending on your location.