Virgin Orbit

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Propulsion Development Engineer

Propulsion Development Engineer

Req No. 
Job Locations 
US-CA-Long Beach
Regular Full-Time

More information about this job

Who we are

At Virgin Orbit, we launch the small satellite revolution, accessing space for missions that were previously unimaginable and fostering new ideas and technologies to create a truly spacefaring civilization. We deliver Virgin’s legendary customer service by pairing technological advancements with a clear focus on our customers’ needs. We build a workplace and a workforce for the future, knowing that our decisions and investments of today will launch the industries of tomorrow. We engage a diverse and inclusive community of dreamers and achievers in a shared mission to access space to improve life on Earth. At Virgin Orbit, we boost imagination. Search all of our job openings on our career portal.


Position Summary

Virgin Orbit (VO) is seeking a new member for our team to serve as an Associate Propulsion Design Engineer. If you join us in this position, you should have a thorough understanding of propulsion system design principles, processes, and tools for aerospace vehicles and their components, including company and industry standards and practices for the LauncherOne small satellite launch program. This role is for a hands-on person with great attention to detail and excellent people skills. This is a full-time position at our rocket factory in beautiful Long Beach, California.


Your Mission


Propulsion System Development

  • Complete knowledge of propulsion system components, interfaces and their design/integration variables for aerospace vehicles, including industry and company standards and practices; ability to interface with engine and component suppliers; and ability to independently perform propulsion system integration tasks within a multidisciplinary team environment
  • Developing preliminary design concepts for future propulsion systems to meet anticipated requirements.
  • Define, coordinate and control the functional and physical interfaces between the propulsion system, engine and the airplane.
  • Configure or design propulsion sub-systems and components to meet all design and performance criteria.
  • Define and support certification tests for propulsion sub-systems and components. Support fielded systems to assure continued reliability.
  • Help Virgin Orbit do our part to make the world a better place
  • Constantly learn new things—and share them with your team members
  • Performs other duties as assigned





What you bring

If you want to join us, you’d better have all of these…  

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or in “STEM” Majors (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).
  • Graduated from a technical college or other recognized apprenticeship.
  • Must have completed an internship with Virgin Galactic within the last year.
  • 1-3 years of experience in liquid rocket propulsion and flight ordnance.
  • Knowledge of  gas and liquid rocket systems or pressurized system manufacturing processes and test & integration procedures.
  • GD&T skills through experience and/or formal training.
  • Limited travel to Mojave, CA, approximately 10-20%.
  • Ability and willingness to thrive in a fast-paced, rapidly changing work environment
  • Driven, highly motivated, and committed to improvement
  • Ability to add something unique and positive to our team
  • Generally high level of all-around awesomeness
  • Must be able to work all shifts and available for overtime as well as weekends when needed
  • Must be able to stand for extended periods – 8 hours minimum
  • Must be able to stoop, bend, crawl, and being able to maneuver in tight spaces
  • Physically able to handle items weighing up to 25lbs (unassisted)

… and you should probably have a bunch of these, too. 

  • Certifications or similar within aerospace, aviation or automotive is preferred.
  • Excellent computer skills, Microsoft Word, Excel and Power Point.
  • Passion for space exploration and a firm belief in the utility of affordable access to space

  • Ability to thrive as a ‘one person team’

ITAR Requirements

To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, applicant must be a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident of the U.S., protected individual as defined by ITAR (22 CFR §120.15) or eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State.


Personal Requirements

Our idea of a happy life: build rockets, work with brilliant people, serve purposeful customers, and open access to space. Sir Richard Branson’s belief is “If you get the perfect mix of people working for your company, you have a far greater chance of success.” From the very start, we have placed top priority on growing and fostering a team of creative, diverse, and talented women and men. In the words of Sir Richard Branson “We believe it’s better to have a hole in your team than an asshole in your team!” Search all of our job openings


Virgin Orbit is an Equal Opportunity Employer; employment with Virgin Orbit is governed on the basis of merit, competence and qualifications and will not be influenced in any manner by race, color, religion, gender, national origin/ethnicity, veteran status, disability status, age, sexual orientation, marital status, mental or physical disability or any other legally protected status.





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