Test Operations Engineer II

Test Operations Engineer II

companyRocket Lab
locationJohn C. Stennis Space Center, MS, USA
PublishedPublished: 6/20/2024
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!


Neutron is a medium lift launch vehicle capable of delivering the mega constellations of tomorrow, high assurance payloads, and human spaceflight. As a highly reusable launch platform, Neutron will deliver a highly cost-effective and reliable launch solution leveraging Rocket Lab’s proven execution history with the Electron program. 


Based out of Rocket Lab's Test Facility at Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, the Test Operations Engineer II is responsible for activation and operations of critical test facilities to support the Archimedes rocket engine and the Neutron launch vehicle.  You will collaborate closely with Engine and Vehicle Propulsion groups to develop test procedures and test sequencing requirements.  You will be responsible for configuration, checkout and operation of the engine hot fire facility and associated support infrastructure. Your work will require technical discipline and expertise in mechanical systems but also in monitoring instrumentation and command and control systems.  You must be responsible for safety of you and those around you.  You may be asked to directly support Engine hardware and Engine checkout operations.  You will become skilled in Test Operations roles and be expected to work independently in support of the overall test facility design, build, activation, and engine test efforts.


  • Perform facility test operations on console while maintaining situational awareness and constant communication with others involved in the test activity
  • Both lead and be part of a team of technicians and engineers who setup and operate the test facility
  • Conduct test operations safely and ensure the quality and integrity of data is maintained
  • Perform troubleshooting to resolve facility and test operations issues
  • Work to plan and optimize checkout, processing, testing and posttest operations
  • Collaborate with Archimedes engine and Neutron vehicle design teams to prepare and perform tests on key engine and stage hardware
  • Work hand in hand with the GSE teams to complete design, build, installation and checkout of facility systems  
    • This includes helping maintain. cleanliness and integrity of systems, ensuring proper checkouts are performed, and data acquisition systems are properly calibrated


  • Bachelor’s degree in mechanical, aerospace, or electrical engineering; or other technical discipline
  • 2+ years of experience operating rocket engine test stands or launch complexes
  • Knowledge of National Instruments LabVIEW software and hardware


  • Broad general background in your engineering discipline with ability to design systems and develop computer tools for automation or analysis
  • Experience operating facilities for liquid oxygen and liquid methane
  • Background that demonstrates personal development which might include pilot training, scouting, sports teams especially any leadership roles in those activities
  • Working knowledge of computer networks and IT infrastructure
  • Demonstrated experience working with various disciplines, fabricators and suppliers to achieve on-time project execution
  • Ability to remain unfazed by ambiguity or changes in strategic direction while maintaining a positive attitude and being self-actualized and self-guided


  • Ability to travel and communicate outside of work hours
  • Must be able to work extended hours and/or weekends as needed 
  • 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.