Virgin Orbit, LLC

  • Principal Software 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 Principal Software Engineer to assist in the development of flight software. This role is for a hands-on person 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

    • Build and improve upon the software platform that runs LauncherOne… and beyond!
    • Collaborate with teams across the company including avionics, GN&C, launch, propulsion, structures, business development, and more.
    • Write internal documentation, including proposed designs for new features and API descriptions.
    • Contribute to a reliable flight software ecosystem through continuous testing with the support of your colleagues.

    Your work in the Flight Software team will enable engineers across Virgin Orbit to test and fly with confidence.

    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) 10+ years relevant experience
    • Experience in developing timing-critical, high reliability software.  Knowing your way around Boost or C++ STL threading libraries is a plus.
    • Proficient oral and written communications skills.
    • Familiarity with modern C++ standards and best practices.
    • Comfortable transitioning between application- and systems-level projects.  You might be working close to the hardware and testing things out in the lab one day, then conscientiously designing an API for current and future use by other teams the next.

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


    • Familiarity with numerical computing and available library support
    • Broad systems programming expertise, especially with regards to network programming.
    • Experience with embedded system architecture and lifecycle, starting from gathering user requirements, design iteration, and transitioning to stable production releases.
    • Accepted patches to open source projects and/or a publicly available repository with code examples.
    • Experience developing device drivers from reading hardware specifications and collaborating with hardware designers



    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.