Virgin Orbit, LLC

Senior Propulsion Components Development Engineer

Job Locations US-CA-Long Beach
Req No.
Regular FT


Long Beach, CA



Job Type:


Who we are



At Virgin Orbit, we are launching the small satellite revolution, enabling missions that were previously unimaginable. We are delivering Virgin’s legendary customer experience by combining advanced technology with a diligent, hard-working team. We have built a workplace and a workforce of the future, knowing that our decisions and investments of today are launching the industries of tomorrow. We have engaged a diverse and inclusive community of doers and dreamers alike, empowering all those working today to build satellites and constellations that will change the world.


At Virgin Orbit, we are opening space for good. Search all of our job openings on our career portal.



Senior Propulsion Components Development Engineer


Position Summary 

Virgin Orbit (VO) is seeking a new member for our team to serve as a Senior Propulsion Components Development Engineer. If you join us in this position, you will be responsible for owning a subset of the propulsion components (such as regulators, valves, TVCs or other widgets) through the full product life cycle. This includes design or procurement, development and qualification testing, to ongoing support of the component on integrated systems. You will also help advise the team on design and improvement of components from seal selection, to structural analysis, to manufacturability. This role will be reporting to the Propulsion Components Manager and is an analytical position but will require some hands-on testing. You will need 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

  • Develop an understanding of LauncherOne system requirements, and translate those to component level requirements
  • Provide fluid control components to other teams whether that be a clean sheet design or procuring an off the shelf component from a vendor or something in between
  • Advise fellow engineers on component design decisions on things like materials, seals, mechanical movement and electrical inputs/outputs
  • Participate in root cause analysis of propulsion components in a variety of environments (high pressure, cryogenic, high flow, etc) and lead design recovery efforts
  • Create and review component drawings and specifications
  • Use first principles and ANSYS to analyze components
  • SAFELY execute test plans, troubleshoot hardware, post-process test data, and present findings to team members
  • 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…

  • B.S. in engineering required
  • 5 years fluid control, component design or similar related experience
  • 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 stand for extended periods – 8 hours minimum
  • Must be able to stoop, bend, crawl, and being able to maneuver in tight spaces
  • Physically able to handle items weighing up to 25lbs (unassisted)`
  • Must be a U.S. person as defined by the ITAR (22 CFR §120.15).
  • Passion for space exploration and a firm belief in the utility of affordable access to space.
  • Ability and desire to perform in a fast-paced, rapidly changing work environment.
  • Self-driven, highly motivated, and committed to improvement, inter-team communication skills, and attention to detail
  • 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.

  • Understanding of the design elements of valves, regulators, actuators, seals, and tubing
  • Exposure to fluid systems, including schematics/P&IDs, pipe losses, and compressibility
  • Familiarity with launch vehicle design margins and testing requirements using guiding documents (e.g. SMC-S-016 , RCC-319)
  • GD&T experience as it relates to seals and mechanical movements
  • Comfortable in a lab environment that conducts a range of component testing
  • Ability to run analytical software correlate test data clearly and concisely present to a broad audience
  • Passion for space exploration and a firm belief in the utility of affordable access to space
  • Willingness to accommodate team member work styles and motivate their 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. 


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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.