Virgin Orbit, LLC

Propulsion Components Test 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.



Position Summary 

Virgin Orbit (VO) is seeking a new member for our team to serve as a Propulsion Components Test Engineer. If you join us in this position, your primary role will be to support component level testing that is associated with development and qualification but also production issues as they arise. You will have the opportunity to work with other component engineers to define tests that will prove out the design and workmanship of components. The second role you will fill is supporting the test area in maintaining and developing test benches (software, hardware) as well as overall improvement of test processes(cleaning, standardized tests). The third role you will be responsible for is owning a small subset of components (exact components will be determined on an as needed basis) but will be from one of the following categories (valves, instrumentation, regulators). You will own these products through their life cycle, this includes procurement, acceptance testing, qualification testing, and ongoing development testing. This role will be reporting to the Propulsion Stages and Controls Manager and is a hands-on position 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

  • Develop an understanding of component tests (benefits, downfalls, etc.) use this knowledge to run tests that are best suited to target an objective
  • Design, review, and safely execute test plans independently or with support from technicians
  • Intelligently design tests to prove out potential design flaws, and if needed procure new equipment to run these tests
  • Track recurring issues in tests and provide a path to address these issues
  • Own the test area, and independently drive to make improvements in hardware, software, and procedures
  • Take ownership of assigned propulsion components, including requirements, testing, and troubleshooting
  • Troubleshoot hardware, post-process test data, and present findings to team members
  • Constantly learn new things—and share them with your team members
  • Communicate issues and needs with management to derive the needed funding/support to successfully accomplish goals
  • Performs other duties as assigned

What you bring

If you want to join us, you’d better have all of these…

  • B.S. Engineering required
  • Test lab, fluid control, mechanical testing related experience
  • Ability and willingness to thrive in a fast-paced, rapidly changing work environment (shifting priorities)
  • 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 – 4 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 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 qualification programs and guiding documentations (e.g. SMC-S-016 , RCC-319)
  • Program management skills to direct and support teammates, guide resource loading, prioritization, and schedules
  • Hazardous fluid testing experience (e.g. high pressure, cryogenic, vibration, shock)
  • Ability to present reduce test data clearly and concisely to broad audience
  • Experience selecting and implementing instrumentation (typ: pressure, temperature, flow rate) into test setups
  • 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.