Virgin Orbit, LLC

  • Systems Engineer, Safety & Mission Assurance

    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 Systems Safety Engineer. If you join us in this position, you will assist in vehicle and component-level safety-critical and hazard analysis and identify/mitigate technical risks to ensure the safety of our flight crew, ground operations team, and the public 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 position at our rocket factory in beautiful Long Beach, California.

    Your Mission

    • Identify safety-critical systems and operations and perform the analyses needed to demonstrate to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that the LauncherOne rocket and Cosmic Girl carrier aircraft are safe to operate in the public domain. These analyses may include but are not limited to:
      • Hazard discovery and identification
      • Fault tree analysis
      • Failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA)
    • Manage system safety process
      • Participate in hardware and software design reviews to identify and track safety hazards and associated risks
      • Maintain a risk database in a lean, efficient manner that directly contributes to design maturation
      • 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
    • Facilitate mission readiness reviews to ensure LauncherOne is ready for launch
      • Gather vehicle-specific metrics on requirements, risks, manufacturing, quality, test status, and as-built vs. as-designed configuration and present status/recommendations
      • Document processes, analyses, and reports in a sufficient manner to include as part of FAA launch license
    • Develop and use tools to determine the public safety impact on proposed flight/launch trajectories
    • Participate in/conduct mishap investigations
    • Liaison with FAA to ensure compliance with federal launch safety regulations (14 CFR Part 431)
    • 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 5+ years of experience OR a Master’s Degree in STEM majors with 3+ years of experience
    • 2+ years of experience performing hazard analysis such as fault tree analysis and/or FMEA
    • Demonstrated performance working with complex systems such as aerospace, aviation, or automotive systems.
    • Demonstrated success in technically focused projects involving hardware design, build or test.
    • 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
    • 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.