Long-Term Mission?

mmlMission has announced their R and RS warranty:

  • 2 year/unlimited mileage “nose to tail” (can’t really say bumper to bumper, can we?)
  • Plus 6 year/60,000 mile powertrain warranty

Let’s read between these lines.  Mission began as EV consultants, never selling to the public.  The (one?) rideable units were rolling ads for their expertise and tech portfolio.  Relatively recently, as highway vehicles go, they took the plunge, developing the R/RS for retail sale.

It now makes sense that they offer an “industry-defining” (their words) powertrain warranty, but modest vehicle coverage.  Mission had years to work on electric drives, and this one in particular, but is starting from scratch on production setups and processes, numerous suppliers, approvals, and… a dealer network.  Yeah, that little thing. Continue reading


Followup: More Legwork (Still Not Enough)

Yep, everyone likes the exciting work, no one likes to grind out the boring but necessary stuff.  XBox One data is in, and its defect rate is uncomfortable.  Just like PlayStation 4 defects, and… the last XBox.  Didn’t do enough of their field testing, quality control, and supplier oversight.

Meanwhile our newest microsatellites are chiming inmostly.  Some universities, startups, etc. didn’t do enough part screening, flight-like testing, systems review, or any of a hundred other things, and their CubeSats are silent.  One case, the Kentucky Space consortium (University of Kentucky/Morehead State), requests help.  They’ve built a surprising satellite, but not a ground station network (or even staff) that can effectively support their needs:

…trying to determine the charging characteristics of the power system. The three team members all live above 40 degrees north and the satellite does not warm up enough during nighttime N-S passes to allow charging to begin. None of us are usually around during the daytime S-N passes and we would particularly appreciate telemetry reports when the satellite is in daylight…  Any form of report is welcome…

Everyone wants to be a satellite stud, no one wants to be an antenna dork.  NASA built the Deep Space Network (dishes looking up) and TDRS System (relay sats looking down) for this very reason; China, India, and even Russia need NASA and ESA dishes to go past Earth orbit.

Legwork Without Legs Working

Speaking of complex integration and high-stakes project execution, Playstation 4 data is in, such as defect rates- not happy holidays in some households.  It ain’t a gadget, folks.  The 8th console generation is a big deal, in gaming- a big business.  Sony/Microsoft didn’t have the luxury of time- Black Friday’s coming.  Apparently testing, quality control, or both took the hit.  And these are big issues, as these aren’t single-function gadgets.  Haven’t been for generations.

Neither complex electronics nor CubeSats are devices in its literal sense- one mechanism, one function.  That means extensive testing, in extensive situations and environments, and cross-testing too.  And here the consequences are low; returning a product or not hearing from a student CubeSat are inconveniences in the grand scheme.  Serious voltages and human riders on public highways (meaning human bystanders), on the other hand, means rigor during development and field testing.  Agility figured that one out, when Jeep and Ford didn’t.

Sony will tighten up their supplier lines and assembly procedures, just like Microsoft dropped a billion dollars on XBox 360 issues.  A fair number of CubeSats flown will fail, due to design gaps, part defects, poor soldering technique, etc. not uncovered by prelaunch testing.  And electrical systems will pop if you don’t do the legwork everyone else does.  Onward.