Virgin Orbit, LLC

  • Senior Propulsion Engineer, Stage Systems | Future Consideration

    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 a Senior Propulsion Stage Systems Engineer. If you join us in this position, you will be a technical leader in design, development and test of engine and/or propellant & pressurant management components, subassemblies and systems for the LauncherOne small satellite launch program. This role is for a hands-on person with great attention to detail and excellent people skills. The ideal candidate would be a generalist with both component and systems level experience with liquid rocket engines, fluid handling, vehicle stages and systems, operations, sensors and instrumentation. This is a full-time position at our rocket factory in beautiful Long Beach, California.

    Your Mission

    • Systems design and architecture of pump-fed liquid rocket engines, including component sizing, loads determination, and preliminary design/analysis
    • Create and manage test and development plans for engines and propulsion components
    • Analysis and interpretation of test and flight data
    • Generation and maintenance of analytical stage system models and anchoring of models to stage test data to guide design and operational decisions
    • Management of test data, hardware configuration logs, and coordination of development activities with other departments
    • Make development decisions based on technical merit, cost, and schedule metrics
    • Operate on console as for stage tests and launches
    • Coordinate interdisciplinary projects that impact functional groups across the program
    • Communicate results verbally and through written reports
    • 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 Engineering
    • Minimum 5 years of related experience in liquid propellant launch vehicles
    • Experience with rocket development, design, and/or test operations
    • Capable of solving complex problems with little to no supervision on schedule as an individual or as a member of an integrated team
    • Rigorous attention to detail
    • Strong work ethic and a self-starter
    • 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
    • Able to spend up to 15% time at our rocket engine and stage test site in Mojave, CA
    • Must be able to stand for extended periods – 8 hours minimum
    • Physically able to handle items weighing up to 25lbs (unassisted)

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

    • Familiarization with PLM and CAD software tools such as TEAMCENTER and NX
    • Capable of performing heat transfer and fluid flow analysis using analytical tools such as GFSSP, FLOCAD, SINDA/FLUINT
    • Strong understanding of writing scripts in Matlab
    • Experience in low cost commercial space system ventures desired
    • Experience with air launched space launch vehicles or aircraft systems desired
    • 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.