Virgin Orbit

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Payload Integration Engineer

Payload Integration Engineer

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

More information about this job

Who we are

VOX Space, LLC is a US-incorporated, wholly-owned subsidiary of Virgin Orbit, LLC. VOX Space provides the national security community of the USA and allied nations with responsive, dedicated, and affordable launch services for small satellites bound for Low Earth Orbit. Headquartered in Manhattan Beach, California, VOX Space can provide study, analysis, integration, and launch services using Virgin Orbit's LauncherOne, while ensuring our customer’s critical information is protected.


Position Summary

VOX Space is seeking a Payload Integration Engineer. S/he will be responsible for outlining, developing and executing payload processing for, and with, our customers as they prepare their payloads for launch using the LauncherOne small satellite launch vehicle. This position is responsible for supporting the VOX Space Mission Managers as they execute launch service contracts. This includes working with the customers to define separation system or dispenser system requirements, work with Virgin Orbit on the procurement of those systems and supporting payload integration functions at the payload builders’ location (or other integration or test locations).   This role is for a hands-on person with great attention to detail and excellent people skills. This is a full-time position and the “home base” is negotiable. S/he should be able to spend ~1 week/month to start between the VOX Space facility in Manhattan Beach, California and Virgin Orbit facility in Long Beach, California.

Your Mission

  • Create and execute the integration plan for VOX Space customer payloads on LauncherOne, for standard services and for individual customers requiring special services.
  • Respond to what-if exercises from engineering and business development for payload accommodation in a wide range of topics, from facility plans, to handling, to avionics, to fueling, to structural accommodation, to deployable systems, to hazardous operations.
  • Work with the Facility Security Officer in ensuring requirements are defined and met for processing classified payloads in the appropriate locations.
  • Work with technical teams from Virgin Orbit, including Structures, Avionics, and Propulsion to define the hardware being handed off from the customer. Identify requirements for payload integration.
  • Act as the technical representative between Virgin Orbit’s launch operations team for payload customers.
  • Encourage designers to design for integration and efficiency.
  • Create storyboards and integration plans.
  • Be creative in helping the VOX Space team in refining their payload processing flow, and options.
  • Assist with top level budgeting, scheduling, and manpower estimates with the Mission Managers, for VOX Space program operations and for customer contracts.
  • Work with the Integration team and Launch Operations team to integrate and launch payloads. This job will include work on the Virgin Orbit production floor, in the Payload Processing Facility, in the customer’s payload processing areas and on the runway on launch day. Be part of a small team doing hands on work.
  • Identify the tooling and support equipment needed to support payload handling and integration (mechanical, electrical, electronic, fluids, etc). Define support equipment requirements and hand off the design to get worked, or design it yourself. Get it built. Redesign it until it works perfectly and supports high rate operations.
  • Write, execute, and redline the payload integration instructions and plans.
  • Act as operations lead during payload operations.
  • Work with a cross functional team. You will be getting parts, data, and support from across the company and between VOX Space and Virgin Orbit. These people will not report to you directly; negotiation and people skills will be necessary.


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)

  • 8+ years experience with payload operations, including handling and deployables OR equivalent.

  • Minimum of 25% travel will be required for this role. (likely more)

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

  • Ability to perform detailed design of support equipment (mechanical, electrical, electronic, and/or fluids).
  • Experience with generating and executing payload integration and test plans. Experience as a test conductor during vehicle powered-on internal checkouts, at test consoles during hardware in the loop tests or comprehensive system tests.

  • Knowledge of spacecraft or satellite systems.
  • Integration and launch are one team. The ideal candidate will be able to support vehicle and payload integration operations, testing, and launch operations.
  • Experience in low cost commercial space system ventures
  • Experience with handling and transportation of unique project hardware.
  • Experience with cleanroom operations and requirements.
  • Experience with vehicle-level integration, test, and launch operations of flight hardware.


*The Employer retains the right to change or assign other duties to this position.


Physical and/or Additional Requirements

  • Must be able to work all shifts and available for overtime as well as weekends when needed.
  • Domestic and International travel will be required for this role. In addition to, candidate will require a valid passport.

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:

The VOX Space organization has a relaxed and informal culture that encourages individuality and innovation.  You will be motivated, enterprising and enthusiastic.  Company culture is such that you need to be able to “check your ego at the door,” be a self-starter and possess a sense of humility.  You will be helping to start VOX Space from the ground up, so you will be flexible in day-to-day work assignments.  You will work well under customer time pressure and thrive on being given challenges and responsibility.  You will communicate clearly and be confident and persuasive. You will have a high level of integrity and understand the need of complete confidentiality. 


Clearance Requirements:

Position requires you have a current clearance, or are able to pass an appropriate background check for a TS/SCI.


VOX Space is an Equal Opportunity Employer; employment with VOX Space 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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