Virgin Orbit

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Senior Instrumentation Engineer

Senior Instrumentation 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 Senior Instrumentation Engineer. If you join us in this position, you will assist in design and implementation of flight test instrumentation 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 or contract position at our rocket factory in beautiful Long Beach, California.

Your Mission

  • Own our flight test instrumentation package and help install it on a 747, Pylon, and rocket
  • Provide complete instrumentation specifications to include sensor model, wiring diagrams, installation paperwork, calibration/inspection plans, and data acquisition configuration files
  • Coordinate installations, checkouts, and maintenance of all flight test instrumentation on the aircraft and rocket
  • Work with several in-house teams and external contractors. Multi-tasking is key!
  • Create our spare sensor strategy and be ready to troubleshoot
  • Design and help install custom displays for the flight deck
  • 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 Aeronautics, Aerospace, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering or similar discipline, with minimum 5 years’ relevant industry experience
  • Successful aviation/aerospace project engineering experience
  • Experience designing and releasing flight hardware for aviation or aerospace systems
  • Demonstrated project management experience
  • Willingness to dive deep into aircraft and rocket documentation (AFM, AMM, etc) to complete technical instrumentation specifications
  • 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.

  • Demonstrated success on experimental or certification flight test programs
  • Experience with NX/Teamcenter or similar CAD packages
  • Experience with instrumentation packages for measuring thermal, pressure, vibration, acoustics, mechanical strain, GPS, inertial parameters, aircraft ARINC data
  • Experience designing or interfacing with aircraft and/or rocket avionics hardware
  • Experience working as a technician or assisting technicians with flight installations
  • Knowledge of EMI/EMC consideration on aircraft or aerospace systems
  • 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!”

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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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