Virgin Orbit, LLC

Test Engineer, Vehicle Engineering

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 Test Engineer on our Vehicle Engineering Team. If you join us in this position, you will assist in pushing development, qualification, and acceptance testing on structural components for the LauncherOne small satellite launch program. 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

  • Work under the direction of the Manager of Test Engineering to develop and execute testing on primary and secondary structure of the launch vehicle. Mentor other engineers and technicians on the team.
  • Adhere to, enforce, and improve the test processes and good practices of VO and the test
  • Produce professional and traceable documentation, including electrical, mechanical, and fluid schematics of the test systems
  • Work with component responsible engineers to design, prepare, and execute structural testing. This includes the manufacture of new test stands and operation of existing resources.
  • Performall necessary design, analysis, and project management.
  • Find creative solutions to unique problems in order to save cost and schedule while improving quality and safety. Come up with great ideas and be empowered to make them a reality.
  • Design, analyze, and own primary and secondary structures for payload accommodations.
  • Help Virgin Orbit do our part to make the world a better place.
  • Constantly learn new things—and share them with your team members.
  • Perform other duties assigned.


What you bring

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

What You Bring

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical, Aerospace, Robotics Engineering or similar field.
  • 2+ years of experience in a real-time engineering environment (Test, Launch, Motorsports, Etc.).


Test Engineering Skills:

  • Experience planning and executing engineering operations in a time-sensitive and high-risk
  • Ability to quickly understand and troubleshoot new systems.
  • Experience writing and executing test plans in collaboration with design engineers.
  • Experience with instrumentation systems.
  • Experience in structural design and analysis.

Project Management Skills:

  • Experience working across engineering groups to define requirements and implement solutions.
  • Execute deliverables based on prioritized implementation plans and timelines.
  • Ability to rapidly change priorities between several projects.
  • Identify key unknowns and quickly close knowledge gaps.
  • Deliver the highest value results quickly and iterate towards successive milestones.
  • Maintain a high level of customer service for your end-users and colleagues.

Personal Requirements:

  • Must be a U.S. person as defined by the ITAR (22 CFR §120.15).
  • Must be able to travel to our Mojave Test site (30%- travel time will be compensated).
  • Must be able to work varying hours/shifts and available for overtime as well as weekends when
  • Self-driven, with a strong background in pragmatic project management, problem solving, organization, inter-team communication skills, and attention to detail.
  • 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).
  • 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.

  • Experience working with closed-loop control hydraulic systems.
  • NI LabVIEW software writing and modification
  • Experience working with National Instruments PXI, cRIO, and cDAQ hardware
  • Experience working with cryogenic systems.
  • Experience working with high-pressure gas systems.
  • Programming experience.
  • Experience with SVN, GIT, or other version management system.
  • Experience with Teamcenter or other PLM system.
  • Experience with NX or other CAD system.
  • Mechanism design experience.
  • Tooling design experience.
  • Control system experience.
  • Ability to thrive as a ‘one person team’.
  • Ability to add something unique and positive to our team.
  • Generally high level of all-around awesomeness.


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.