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Principal Spacecraft Systems Engineer

Principal Spacecraft Systems Engineer

companyRocket Lab
locationLong Beach, CA, USA
PublishedPublished: 5/5/2024
Engineering
Full Time

ABOUT ROCKET LAB

Rocket Lab is a global leader in launch and space systems. The rockets and satellites we build and launch enable some of the most ambitious and vital space missions globally, supporting scientific exploration, Earth observation and missions to combat climate change, national security, and exciting new technology demonstrations. Our Electron rocket has provided reliable access to orbit since 2018, becoming one of the most frequently launched rockets in the world. Neutron will be our next rocket on the launch pad, an advanced 13-tonne payload class, reusable rocket to launch the mega constellations of the future. Our space systems business includes our extensive line of satellites and components that have enabled more than 1,700 missions including the James Webb Space Telescope, NASA Psyche Mission, Artemis I, Mars Ingenuity helicopter, and more.  

Join our pioneering team and launch your career to new heights!

SPACE SYSTEMS 

Rocket Lab’s Space Systems team is responsible for every satellite and satellite component made by Rocket Lab: from complete satellites destined for missions to the Moon and Mars, to the individual components and subsystems that make up a satellite like solar panels, flight software, reaction wheels and star trackers, separation systems, radios, and more. Our Space Systems team is made up of engineers, technicians, and designers who design, create, and put together our own satellites for missions across the commercial, government, and defense sectors, or who build and assemble satellite hardware and software that supports other satellite missions.

PRINCIPAL SPACECRAFT SYSTEMS ENGINEER

Based out of Rocket Lab's global headquarters in Long Beach, CA, the Principal Spacecraft Systems Engineer is responsible for the development and maintenance of technical budgets, requirements definition, test planning and execution, and overall management of the systems engineering process. You will support the Chief Space Systems Engineer and Space Systems organization, with deliverables required for internal leadership, board of directors, and investors.

WHAT YOU’LL GET TO DO:

  • Develop and maintain:
    • Technical budgets for vehicle performance
    • System requirements and verification techniques
    • Simulations and analysis across vehicle functions
    • Test methods and data analysis
  • Lead and own technical development of spacecraft missions
  • Assist with program and product management
  • Develop, in collaboration with team members, interface specifications, CONOPS definition, and other design documents

YOU’LL BRING THESE QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Bachelor’s degree in engineering (software, computer, electrical, aerospace, mechanical, or other technical engineering discipline)
  • 12+ years of engineering experience in the aerospace industry
  • Experience supporting satellite and/or spacecraft development programs

THESE QUALIFICATIONS WOULD BE NICE TO HAVE:

  • Master’s or PhD in engineering (software, computer, electrical, aerospace, mechanical, or other technical engineering discipline)
  • Understanding of key spacecraft subsystems and their associated components, including: attitude determination and control (ADCS), electrical power systems (EPS), space-ground communications, on-orbit command and data handling (C&DH), and thermal control
  • Thorough understanding of the space environment, orbital mechanics, and rigid body dynamics
  • Experience with MATLAB, Python, and STK
  • Experience with requirement management tools such as JAMA or DOORS
  • Experience with satellite operations
  • Experience with testing electrical subsystems and assemblies, thermal vacuum or random vibration, and hardware-in-the loop (HITL) testing
  • Ability to work in a dynamic environment with competing priorities

ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS:

  • Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to focus 
  • Regularly required to sit, use hands and fingers, operate computer keyboard and controls, and communicate verbally and in writing
  • Must be physically able to commute to buildings 
  • Occasional exposure to dust, fumes and moderate levels of noise

The expected salary range for the position is displayed in accordance with the California Equal Pay for Equal Work Act. Final agreed upon compensation is based upon individual qualifications and experience. 

Base salary is only one part of Rocket Lab’s compensation package for this role. You may be eligible for company stock, stock options, or cash incentives, and can purchase discounted stock through Rocket Lab’s Employee Stock Purchase Program. Employee benefits may also include medical, dental, and vision insurance coverage; 401(k) retirement plan options; paid vacation, holidays, and sick leave; paid parental leave; and other discounts and perks.  

Base Pay Range (CA Only)$130,000—$210,000 USD

WHAT TO EXPECT 

We’re on a mission to unlock the potential of space to improve life on Earth, but that’s not an easy task. It takes hard work, determination, relentless innovation, teamwork, grit, and an unwavering commitment to achieving what others often deem impossible. Our people out-think, out-work and out-pace. We pride ourselves on having each other’s backs, checking our egos at the door, and rolling up our sleeves on all tasks big and small. We thrive under pressure, work to tight deadlines, and our focus is always on how we can deliver, rather than dwelling on the challenges that stand in the way.   

Important information:

FOR CANDIDATES SEEKING TO WORK IN US OFFICES ONLY:

To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, including the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), Rocket Lab Employees must be a U.S. citizen, lawful U.S. permanent resident (i.e., current Green Card holder), or lawfully admitted into the U.S. as a refugee or granted asylum, or be eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State and/or the U.S. Department of Commerce, as applicable. Learn more about ITAR here.

Rocket Lab provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment at Rocket Lab, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.

Applicants requiring a reasonable accommodation for the application/interview process for a job in the United States should contact Giulia Biow at g.biow@rocketlabusa.com.This dedicated resource is intended solely to assist job seekers with disabilities whose disability prevents them from being able to apply/interview. Only messages left for this purpose will be considered. A response to your request may take up to two business days.

FOR CANDIDATES SEEKING TO WORK IN NEW ZEALAND OFFICES ONLY:

For security reasons background checks will be undertaken prior to any employment offers being made to an applicant.  These checks will include nationality checks as it is a requirement of this position that you be eligible to access equipment and data regulated by the United States' International Traffic in Arms Regulations. 

Under these Regulations, you may be ineligible for this role if you do not hold citizenship of Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, the European Union or a country that is part of NATO, or if you hold ineligible dual citizenship or nationality.  For more information on these Regulations, click here ITAR Regulations.