Virgin Orbit, LLC

Mission Design Engineer

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


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 Mission Design Engineer within our Guidance, Navigation, and Control (GNC) and Mission Design team.  If you join us in this position, you will assist in development for the LauncherOne small satellite launch program as well as advanced concepts for future growth initiatives.  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.


Your Mission

  • Assist in mission design and trajectory modeling for the LauncherOne small satellite launch program.
  • Perform mission and vehicle trade studies based on recommendations from the business development team and chief engineer.
  • Work in tandem with the GNC team to help design trajectories that satisfies practical flight constraints.
  • Engage in full cycle mission analysis going from 3DOF trajectory design to 6DOF Monte Carlo analysis.
  • Develop engineering tools for mission and vehicle performance analysis.
  • Assist in the process of automating the trajectory design process.
  • Develop tools and trajectory decks for on-orbit maneuvers.
  • Interface with senior leadership to report and trend rocket performance
  • 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’s Degree in STEM with 2+ years of relevant experience
  • Experience in launch vehicle trajectories
  • Direct experience in atmospheric flight dynamics
  • Experience with POST and/or related 3DOF/6DOF tool
  • Experience in vehicle performance sensitivity analysis
  • Familiarity with Matlab or other scripting languages
  • Strong analytical background
  • Must be very organized and a clear communicator
  • 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


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

  • Development experience with rocket guidance systems
  • Demonstrated knowledge of optimization algorithms
  • Meet ITAR requirements
  • 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. 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.