Virgin Orbit, LLC

Software Development Engineer (Mojave)

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


Mojave, 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.


Position Summary


Virgin Orbit (VO) is seeking a new member for our team to serve as a Software Development Engineer (Mojave). If you join us in this position, you will be an extension of our Software Engineering group, located at our dedicated test site (Mojave, CA) to develop and maintain data acquisition and control systems for Newton rocket engine propulsion test facilities for the LauncherOne program. The Software Development Engineer will be responsible for development, operation, and troubleshooting of the software that supports the LauncherOne test site facility.   Site software primarily focuses on the data acquisition and control software, but also extends to other data management tasks including data organization, analysis, storage, and retrieval.  In addition to actively participating in engine hotfire testing activities, you will also have the opportunity to work on other company-wide projects that focus on automation and creating time-saving tools.


The Software Development Engineer will collaborate with the Propulsion, Vehicle Engineering, and Flight and Launch teams during development and production testing of the LauncherOne rocket testing program.  They will also work closely with the Software Engineering group in Long Beach California.  Knowledge of liquid rocket engines is not required to be successful.  The ideal candidate would be a specialist with systems engineering level experience with practical experience with NI LabVIEW, Python, instrumentation, wiring and sensors, and database experience.  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 test facility in beautiful Mojave, California.

Your Mission

  • System maintenance and upgrades of the chemical rocket engine command, control, and data acquisition systems
  • Design, development, and maintenance of data acquisition and command system
  • Troubleshooting software and instrumentation problems
  • Electrical design of wire harnesses and other interconnect systems as well as configuration management
  • Test operations support for software and data-related systems
  • Leadership for data acquisition and control software and hardware design crew
  • 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 of Science in Engineering or a STEM field
  • 1-3 years experience in NI hardware and software systems design and development
  • 1-3 years experience with NI LabVIEW software
  • Ability to work in both R&D and production rate environments
  • Excellent organizational skills and problem-solving skills
  • 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 overtime as well as weekends when needed
  • 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.

  • Creative problem solver, able to work in multi-disciplinary teams
  • Experience with Python
  • Experience with DDS (Data Distribution Services) protocol
  • Experience with modern open-source database solutions
  • Experience with NX and Teamcenter
  • Operations experience, preferably in a development or test environment
  • Experience setting up new production facilities, test facilities, or work cells
  • Ability to work unsupervised
  • Excellent interpersonal, coaching, and leadership skills
  • Capable of solving complex problems with little to no supervision on schedule as an individual or as a member of an integrated team
  • 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. 


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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.