Virgin Orbit, LLC

Sr. Aircraft Systems 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 key technical talent to join our team to serve as Sr. Aircraft System Engineer. This position will interface directly with Flight Ops, Launch Ops, and various technology teams to operate and improve the systems onboard our 747 Air Launcher “Cosmic Girl”. If you join us in this position, you will be working on maintaining and upgrading our plane systems as well as supporting launch site activities to prepare for launch. This role is for a technical and hands-on person with great attention to details 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

  • Conduct technical evaluation of new design proposals and engineering changes
  • Identify technical improvements to enhance safety, reliability and efficiency of systems
  • Assist in diagnosing and troubleshooting anomalies and malfunctions
  • Work with various engineering departments, aircraft manufacturers, and regulatory personnel to effectively carry out aircraft improvements
  • Perform technical risk assessments and hazardous analysis of aircraft system designs
  • Be an effective part of the flight crew responsible for carrying out system testing onboard Cosmic Girl
  • Develop data displays, configuration files, and other tools to operate plane systems during launch campaigns
  • Be on-site to execute procedures and disposition anomalies on test and launch days
  • Constantly learn new things—and share them with your team members
  • Help Virgin Orbit do our part to make the world a better place
  • Flexibility to travel up to 30% of the time on a regular schedule and up to 60% during Launch Campaigns; including interstate and international

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
  • 5+ years of professional experience in an operations, integration, or test environment
  • Experience or knowledge in DO-160 component level testing or equivalent
  • Experience or knowledge of aircraft FAR’s for aircraft systems integration and compliance or equivalent  
  • Experience working on complex systems involving fluid, electrical, structural, and/or software interactions
  • Experience in aircraft system architecture, system engineering and system integration
  • 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
  • Must be able to work all shifts and available for overtime as well as weekends when needed
  • Willing to travel (upwards to ~60% of time) and be exposed to work in outdoor launch pad environment
  • Ability to travel Internationally 
  • 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 writing and maintaining test procedures or hardware work instructions
  • Experience operating on console for an engineering test campaign and performing real-time evaluation of data
  • Excellent interpersonal, communication, and leadership skills
  • Excellent problem-solving and organizational skills
  • Passion for space exploration and aviation


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.