Senior Payload Integration Engineer I - TSC/SCI Clearance

Senior Payload Integration Engineer I - TSC/SCI Clearance

companyRocket Lab
locationLong Beach, CA, USA
PublishedPublished: 4/12/2024
Full Time


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!


Rocket Lab USA is seeking an experienced payload integration engineer with previous launch vehicle or spacecraft integration experience. This role will work under the direction of a Team Lead - Payload Integration Engineer and will report to the Manager - Missions and Payload Integration. The candidate must have demonstrated experience in one or more of the following areas: spacecraft or launch vehicle integration, systems engineering, and/or electrical/mechanical systems.

The proper candidate will interface with spacecraft customer integration teams and direct and perform tasks associated with the physical spacecraft integration to the Electron and Neutron launch vehicles. This role requires a candidate who works well with a multidisciplinary team and can hold their own when presented with technical challenges in front of both internal and external customers. The position is based in Long Beach, CA USA at Rocket Lab USA HQ, but requires frequent travel to customers and launch sites worldwide.


  • Perform hands-on payload integration activities, including fit checks, dispenser, and launch vehicle integration
  • Assist management in on-site integration planning and performance of daily coordination meetings during launch site integration periods.
  • Provide inputs for development and verification of Launch Vehicle to Spacecraft Interface Control Documentation (ICD)
  • Create and execute assembly integration instructions
  • Provide customer support to answer questions with internal technical staff as required
  • Remain in constant contact with engineering staff regarding mechanical and electrical design needs based on mission requirements for the spacecraft integration.
  • Plan and execute process improvement projects related to payload integration


  • Bachelor's degree in an engineering or technical discipline – Mechanical, Electrical or Aerospace degree preferred and 5+ years of applicable experience
  • Active DoD Secret or TS/SCI Clearance
  • Previous launch vehicle or space hardware integration experience including experience with CubeSats, SmallSats, or other small space payloads
  • Strong understanding and experience working with tooling related to space vehicle integration
  • Demonstrated ability reading mechanical and electrical drawings
  • Experience working with mechanical models in CAD software programs
  • Demonstrated ability performing electrical and mechanical testing
  • Ability to travel up to 50% to launch sites and customer sites including overseas (New Zealand and others)


  • Solid presentation and technical writing skills
  • ITAR – knowledge of ITAR requirements and importance of TAA's
  • Solid interpersonal and organizational skills
  • Demonstrated ability in understanding technical constraints relative to payload integration


  • 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. 


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:


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 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.