Virgin Galactic

  • Systems Engineer, Operations & Safety

    Job Locations US-CA-Mojave
    Req No.
    Regular Full-Time
  • 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 Operations and Ground Support Systems Safety Engineer. If you join us in this position, you will perform hazard analysis and identify/mitigate safety risks associated with test, operations, maintenance, plans and procedures, facilities, and test and servicing equipment design for the LauncherOne rocket engine and stage testing.  This is a full-time position at our Necker Test Facility in Mojave, California.

    Your Mission

    • Perform Safety Analysis of fluid, structural, and electrical systems associated with rocket engine and stage development, qualification, and acceptance testing. These analyses may include but are not limited to:
      • Hazard discovery and identification
      • Fault tree analysis
      • Failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA)
    • Identification of Safety Clear Zones and Hazard Areas (Quantity Distance Analysis) to ensure public, related personnel safety, and regulatory compliance for LauncherOne test and fueling operations at the Mojave Air & Space Port
    • Risk Identification and Management
      • Participate in hardware and software design reviews to identify and track safety hazards and associated risks
      • Develop risk and hazard mitigation plans alongside the design and operations teams, and track implementation
      • Ensure risks are mitigated prior to test and launch operations
    • Participate in/conduct mishap investigations
    • Ensure compliance with local, State, and Federal Test and Launch Safety regulations
    • 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 STEM majors (science, technology, engineering, and math) with 3+ years of experience OR a Master’s Degree in STEM majors with 2+ years of experience
    • Experience performing hazard analysis such as fault tree analysis and/or FMEA
    • Familiarity with aerospace flight hardware, ground support equipment, and Propulsion System qualification and acceptance testing
    • Experience in one or more of the following areas: fluid systems, high pressure valves, or pressure relief devices for rocket engines
    • Clear communication and presentation skills
    • Ability to work independently and with minimal supervision
    • 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
    • Physically able to handle items weighing up to 25lbs (unassisted)

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

    • Demonstrated ability to lead the development, analysis, or verification of large, complex systems
    • Familiarity with federal safety regulations for aviation and/or launch (14 CFR Parts 25, 417, 420, and 431)
    • Familiarity with common aerospace industry standards such as RCC-319, MIL-STD-810, SMC-S-016, MIL-STD-461, NASA-STD-5001, NASA-STD-5012, AIAA-S-080-1988, and/or AIAA-S-081-2000
    • Demonstrated ability to convey complex information for technical and non-technical audiences.
    • Computer programming skills such as MATLAB, Python, or Perl; or demonstrated ability to automate complex processes
    • 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.




    Not ready to apply? Build the Future with Us for general consideration.