Virgin Orbit, LLC

Sr. Payload Avionics 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 the team to serve as Sr. Payload Avionics Engineer.  As part of the Launch Operations team, the Sr. Payload Engineer will provide technical leadership throughout all aspects of the project by leading the development and implementation of installation of mechanical and avionics flight hardware. This role is for a person that loves "hands-on" experience and excellent people skills and based at our beautiful rocket factory in Long Beach, California.

Your Mission

  • Work with engineers from the Avionics group to define the flow of hardware processing and testing. Work with Mission Management to understand customer electrical or RF needs.
  • Also, support work on structures or ordnance related tasks as needed
  • Design and/or purchase any ground support equipment needed to process and test the VO flight hardware of customer hardware. This should support a high rate of production.
  • Experience with cleanroom operations and requirements
  • Perform drawing reviews looking for accuracy, manufacturability, and process efficiency
  • Write and review test plans and procedures to process the hardware and perform tests
  • Work with technicians to execute the procedure for processing and testing the hardware
  • Redline procedures to improve the integration and testing process
  • Support launch site activities located in Mojave and other launch sites as they come online
  • Design the next version of our electrical ground support equipment to include production improvements and support mechanical ground support equipment as needed
  • Support the customer needs when they are onsite and ensure that they receive the best care possible
  • 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
  • It may be cliché, but think outside the box. With us the best idea wins, even if it’s not how it has always been done.
  • Learn and perform work outside or their area of expertise. We are still a small group and wear many hats.
  • Teach the team new things! We love to learn
  • Enjoy going out to lunch with the team
  • Help Virgin Orbit do our part to make the world a better place

What you bring

If you want to join us, you’d better have all of these…

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering, similar STEM Majors (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) or equivalent experience
  • A minimum of 5 years of industry experience
  • A minimum of 3 years of integration or testing on rocket, satellites, deployers, or equivalent space industry experience
  • Ability to perform detailed design of electrical ground support equipment
  • Experience with generating and executing procedures
  • Knowledge of spacecraft systems
  • Experience working in ESD environments
  • Ability to travel up to 25% of the time
  • Ability to work long hours during crunch periods
  • Ability to add something unique and positive to our team
  • Generally high level of all-around awesomeness

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

  • Previous experience as an avionics engineer or separation system designer would be awesome
  • Experience with smallsats, cubesats, or dispensers
  • Experience as a test conductor during lift operations, vehicle powered-on internal checkouts, at test consoles during hardware in the loop tests or comprehensive system tests.
  • Experience with oscilloscopes, safe-to-mates, inrush current checks, mating harness connectors, and running test scripts. You must be hands on and comfortable working with flight hardware.
  • Experience with RE/RS, VNA, Signal Analyzer and Signal generator
  • Experience with Solumina, NX, Teamcenter
  • Experience working in cleanroom environments
  • Ability to thrive as a ‘one person team’
  • Passion for the smallsat revolution!

Physical and/or Additional Requirements

  • Able to travel to the launch site or customer facility. Some travel will be for an extended amount of time.
  • 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 min.
  • Must be able to stoop, bend, crawl, and being able to maneuver in tight spaces.

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!”

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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.