Virgin Galactic

  • Payload Engineer

    Job Locations US-CA-Long Beach
    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 Payload Engineer. If you join us in this position, you will lead the development and implementation of all payload integration. You will work in a small team and provide technical leadership throughout all aspects of the project. You will collaborate with the Payload Integration Engineers and Mission Managers as part of the Launch Operations team to develop the payload handling process from factory to launch. You will write and execute the procedures needed to processes the Payload Adapter, Fairing, encapsulation of the customer’s payload, and mate of the Fairing to the Rocket.


    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, Propulsion, and Avionics to define the hardware being handed off from the customer and from internal manufacturing and design teams to integration and launch operations.
    • Identify requirements to create and execute the integration plan. This will cover mechanically and electrically integrating and testing the Adapters and Fairings. Also, help to setup the facility for the customer to process and test their satellite.
    • Design and procures any equipment or tools needed to execute the integration plan. This should support a high rate of production.
    • Write all integrations and test plans. Work within the integration team to perform all the assembly and tests. This work will be performed on the production floor, cleanroom, or launch site. Be part of a small team doing hands on work.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Ensure that customer payloads get the best possible care while in our hands.
    • 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 Computer Science or in “STEM” Majors (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)
    • Ability to perform detailed design of support equipment
    • Ability to serve as a test conductor during integration activity and powered-on internal checkouts.
    • Knowledge of spacecraft systems.
    • Payload integration and launch are one team. The ideal candidate will be able to support vehicle and payload integration operations, testing, and launch operations.
    • Ability to work in a cleanroom and learn proper techniques for working in a cleanroom.
    • Willing to travel to Mojave and other launch sites to support test campaigns and launch campaigns is likely.
    • 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.

    • Experience in low cost commercial space system ventures
    • Experience with smallsats or cubesats
    • Experience with final integration and spacecraft testing at the launch site
    • 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.