Virgin Orbit

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Payload Integration Engineer

Payload Integration 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 a Payload Integration Engineer.   If you join us in this position, you will work on the cleanroom floor processing flight hardware (fairing, adapter, etc), performing payload encapsulation and supporting launch site activity. You will work in a small team and provide technical leadership throughout all aspects of the project. You will collaborate with the other Payload Integration Engineers and Mission Managers as part of the Launch Operations team to assist in developing the payload handling process from factory to launch.


This role is for a person that loves and has hand lots of hands on experience 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

  • Work with engineers from Structures and Avionics to define the flow for hardware processing and electrical/RF testing.
  • Design and/or purchase any ground support equipment needed to process and test the flight hardware. This should support a high rate of production.
  • Write procedures to process the hardware.
  • Work with technicians to execute the procedure for processing the hardware.
  • Redline procedures to improve the process
  • Design the next version of our ground support equipment to include production improvements.
  • Encourage designers to design for ease of integration/test and efficiency.
  • Assist with top level budgeting, scheduling, and manpower estimates, for LauncherOne program operations and for customer contracts.
  • Work with a cross functional team. You will be getting parts, data, and support from across the company. These people will not report to you directly; negotiation and people skills will be necessary.
  • Support the customer needs when they are onsite and ensure that they receive the best care possible.
  • Respond to what-if exercises from engineering and business development for payload accommodation in a wide range of topics that could include avionics, facility planning, cleanroom planning, launch site planning, and hazardous operations.
  • Act as the technical representative from launch operations group to the LauncherOne payload customers during meetings with the customer, payload processing, and launch site processing.
  • A minimum of 5 years’ experience with payload operations
  • Help Virgin Orbit do our part to make the world a better place

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)
  • A minimum of 5 years of experience in an assembly, integration, manufacturing or test environment working on mechanical systems. 
  • Ability to perform detailed design of mechanical support equipment.
  • Experience with generating and executing procedures.
  • Knowledge of spacecraft systems.
  • Experience with cleanroom operations and requirements.
  • Experience with working in ESD environments.
  • Experience with vehicle-level integration, test, and launch operations of flight hardware.
  • 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


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

  • Experience as a test conductor during vehicle powered-on internal checkouts, at test consoles during hardware in the loop tests or comprehensive system tests.
  • Experience with oscilloscopes, safe-to-mates, inrush current checks, mating harness connectors, and running test scripts. You must be hands on and comfortable working with flight hardware.
  • Experience in low cost commercial space system ventures
  • Experience with smallsats or cubesats
  • Experience with final spacecraft testing at the launch site
  • Experience with HVAC and/or conditioning systems
  • Experience with aircraft and launch vehicles
  • Passion for space exploration and a firm belief in the utility of affordable access to space
  • Ability to thrive as a ‘one person team’

Physical and/or Additional Requirements.....

  • Able to travel to the launch site or customer facility. Some travel will be for an extended amount of time
  • 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 min
  • Must be able to stoop, bend, crawl, and being able to maneuver in tight spaces

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!”

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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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