Virgin Orbit, LLC

Launch Operations Engineer

Job Locations US-CA-Long Beach
Req No.
Regular Full-Time


Long Beach, CA



Job Type:


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 Launch Operations Engineer. If you join us in this position, you will work on the rocket operations team supporting launch site activity to prepare the LauncherOne vehicle for launch. 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, with regular travel to Mojave and other Spaceports around the world.

Your Mission

  • Coordinate checkouts, hardware work, and operations to prepare vehicle and encapsulated payload for launch
  • Execute procedures and disposition anomalies on console during test and launch days
  • Develop GUIs, procedures, calculations, launch commit criteria, automated sequences, warnings, and other tools to operate rocket systems during launch campaigns
  • Author work instructions for hardware installations, replacements or fixes and work closely with technicians to safely implement
  • Perform system-level checkouts to confirm functional and performance objectives are met
  • Generate mission-specific payload operations flow to meet customer requirements
  • Review test/flight data and compare to predictions
  • Coordinate engineering console support in Long Beach and at remote launch sites
  • Constantly learn new things and share them with your team members
  • Help Virgin Orbit do our part to make the world a better place
  • Perform 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) or equivalent experience
  • 2+ years of professional experience in an operations, integration, or test environment
  • Experience working on complex systems involving fluid, electrical, structural, and/or software interactions
  • Experience troubleshooting anomalies and determining path to resolution
  • Ability and willingness to perform effectively in a fast-paced, ever-changing environment
  • Driven, highly motivated, and committed to improvement
  • Generally high level of all-around awesomeness
  • Must be able to work all shifts and available for overtime as well as weekends when needed
  • Willing to travel (~25% of time) and be exposed to work in outdoor launch pad environment
  • Must be able to provide proof of US-approved Covid-19 full vaccination status, unless otherwise exempted by an approved reasonable medical or religious accommodation from Virgin Orbit.


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


  • Experience with vehicle-level integration, test, and operations of flight hardware
  • Experience writing and maintaining test procedures or hardware work instructions
  • Experience operating on console for an engineering test campaign and performing real-time evaluation
  • Experience with pressurized systems, procedures, and best practices
  • Experience with cleanroom operations and best practices
  • Excellent interpersonal, communication, and leadership skills
  • Excellent problem-solving and organizational skills
  • Passion for space exploration and a firm belief in the utility of affordable access to space


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.