A financial summary for the period September 1st - November 31st has been compiled and is attached below. During this period of time Aphelion has hit all critical milestones, including the start of detailed design work on the Trailblazer vehicle, completion of core elements in the Cubesat product line, and active participation in government contracts. Aphelion had a net spending of $60321 during this quarter, while the budgeted amount was $93170. This results in a $32849 surplus. The following chart depicts the spending breakdown.
The reduced spending was due to the following reasons.
- The hiring of a structural engineer, part-time machinist, and part-time EE have not been executed and have been put off to a later date
- The move-in date to the larger facility will be between late this month to early January
- A large portion of the developmental budget was unused
This leads us to two important conclusions regarding the company's financial standing and development strategies.
- As we enter the next quarter, we need to strike a better balance between hardware purchases and labor. Labor accounts for most of our costs, therefore, outsourcing and the direct purchase of certain items will be reconsidered especially at this early stage of business. We will also increase expenditure on capital goods in order to increase productivity.
- We see the slow burn rate as a positive thing as the company slowly enters into full operations. However, we will be expanding the team very soon as we move into hardware testing and full vehicle design.
Meanwhile, progress for this week include the following.
- The Part B proposal for NASA's NIAC program has been completed and submitted as a part of the bid for a $110,000 contract.
- We completed major electroplating tests on the catalyst bed.
- The structure of the engineering model has been completed, with the nosecone fitted to the body. Paint and exterior finishes are being applied through the weekend.
- Engine manufacturing plans are in the works. This allows us to start hardware production by the end of December as expected.
Finally, our facility in New Jersey is being expanded. This was done at no cost to Aphelion and will provide an additional 300-400 sqft of space. The walls were being torn down this week and it is expected to be complete by the next.