Virgin Orbit

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Launch Engineer

Launch 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 ( is seeking a recent engineering graduate to participate in the design, analysis, fabrication, integration, and testing, of launch systems and operations for an air launched rocket. Launch Systems include Ground Support Equipment (GSE) consisting of Liquid Oxygen, Rocket Propellant 1, Helium, Nitrogen, and Payload Air Conditioning systems with their associated command and control. Launch systems also include telemetry sites capable of real-time distribution of vehicle data, the launch control room, and Mechanical GSE for all handling operations. This is a full-time position at Virgin Orbit's aerospace facility in Long Beach, California.

Your Mission

  • Designbuild, and operate Ground Support Equipment for Lox, RP-1, helium, and GN2.
  • Develop a command and control system for autonomous propellant and gas loading.
  • Create in-flight telemetry screens for ground monitoring.
  • Plan and coordinate ground station coverage.
  • Review test/flight data and compare to predictions.
  • Lead or contribute to anomaly resolutions as needed.
  • Management of subcontractors.
  • Assist in the development of integration and launch processes and procedures. Write test procedures, launch procedures, and autosequences.
  • Launch and mission operations support.
  • Act as test conductor during support equipment operations. The ideal candidate will also be a vehicle operator during launches
  • 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…

  • Passion for space exploration and a firm belief in the utility of affordable access to space
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or in “STEM” Majors (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)
  • Relevant experience during internships or thesis work, or several years of relevant full time experience.
  • Ability to perform detailed design of support equipment (mechanical, electrical, electronic, and/or fluids).
  • Familiarity with process and instrumentation diagrams.
  • Experience with generating and executing 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.
  • 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.

  • Integration and launch are one team. The ideal candidate will be able to support launch operations and be part of the launch team
  • Experience in low cost commercial space system ventures
  • Experience with handling and transportation of unique project hardware
  • Experience with vehicle-level integration, test, and launch operations of flight hardware
  • Experience with pressurized systems, procedures, and best practices
  • General knowledge of data acquisition systems and electrical harnessing
  • Familiarity with LabVIEW
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Excellent organizational skills and problem-solving skills
  • Strong team player
  • Excellent computer skills including Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint
  • 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!”

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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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