This blog post is not about any of the technical aspects of the satellite. It rather is about how many people are building this satellite. Except for our project manager Martin Langer, every single one of them is a student spending her or his free time on MOVE-II. As you can see below, our mission takes a lot of people and a lot of time as it is approaching the end of the design phase.
MOVE-II started in the end of 2011 with a talk by the First-MOVE project manager Claas Olthoff on a project called MOVE-on at that time. Twenty six students were motivated enough to participate in the project. In 2012, a Mission Concept Review was held and the design of the different subsystems started. About half of the members from these times are still part of the MOVE-II team. The mission concept has changed dramatically over time. We went from 2 units to 3 units and back to 1 unit, switched payloads and subsystems but for a long time we could not get the funds for starting the cost-intense phases of our mission. But there were enough students that still wanted to participate in the project. The number of members increased almost every year.
Working with so many students is a good thing because the purpose of this satellite mission is teaching students how to conduct a space-related project. But we also suffer from the high fluctuation over the years. So we put more and more emphasis on documenting our work over the time.
The main system we use for keeping track of every members tasks and all the knowledge that we built up so far is Redmine. This is an open source project management tool which integrates an issue tracker, wiki pages, git repositories, and a time logger. There is a plot of the time logger’s data below.
Our team worked an accumulated 6029 hours from Redmine’s introduction in March this year until the end of July. That work time we have dedicated to our mission might easily be worth more than a hundred thousand Euros if one would pay us! The dip in July stems from the start of the exam period which will last until the end of August. We hope to continue our development at a high pace to not just finish our satellite but also test our satellite thoroughly before launch.