Payload Integration Engineer, Senior

Job Ref: 4333927003 | Type: (a) Full-time

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About The Role

Rocket Lab

Rocket Lab is the global leader in small satellite launch. Our mission is to open access to space to improve life on Earth. There are endless possibilities for what we can achieve with better access to space, and that access is now a reality thanks to Rocket Lab. Our team is 500 people strong and we’re adding to it every week. Collaboration is at our core - every idea is heard and everyone makes a difference. Teams are nimble, decisions are made quickly and we are action-oriented.

While other companies talk about it, we do it!

Rocket Lab USA is seeking an experienced Senior Payload Integration Engineer with previous launch vehicle or spacecraft integration experience. This role will report to the Director of Mission Management and Integration. The candidate must have demonstrated experience in the following areas: spacecraft or launch vehicle integration, systems engineering, and/or electrical/mechanical systems.

The proper candidate will provide technical leadership throughout the entire payload integration life-cycle. The candidate will interface with spacecraft customer integration teams and direct and perform tasks associated with the physical spacecraft integration to the Electron launch vehicle. 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.  Position is based in Long Beach, CA USA at Rocket Lab USA HQ, but requires frequent travel to customers and launch sites worldwide.


  • Performs hands-on payload integration activities, including fit checks, deployment tests, dispenser and launch vehicle integration
  • Act as the main internal POC and subject-matter-expert for payload integration requirements and provide customer support to answer questions with internal technical staff as required
  • Work closely with Mission Managers on the development and verification of Launch Vehicle to Spacecraft Interface Control Documentation (ICD)
  • Create, execute and maintain assembly integration instructions and procedures
  • Remain in constant contact with engineering staff regarding mechanical and electrical design needs based on mission requirements for the spacecraft integration
  • Assists management in on-site integration planning and performance of daily coordination meetings during launch campaigns


Required skills, experience, and education:

  • Bachelor's degree in an engineering or technical discipline – Mechanical, Electrical or Aerospace degree preferred + 4-7 years or more of applicable experience
  • Solid interpersonal and organizational skills
  • Proficiency with mechanical and electrical drawings, schematics and CAD assemblies
  • Previous launch vehicle or space hardware integration hands-on experience, including operations in 100,000 class (ISO 8) or better clean rooms.
  • Ability to understand technical constraints relative to payload integration
  • Solid presentation and technical writing skills
  • Ability to travel to launch sites and customer sites including overseas (New Zealand and others)
  • Ability to obtain and maintain an active U.S. Government security clearance

Preferred qualifications:

  • Knowledge of export compliance requirements (ITAR and EAR)
  • Experience with integration of a wide range of satellite form-factors (from cubesats to large satellites)
  • Hands-on experience with a wide variety of payload separation systems (cubesat dispensers and separation rings)
  • Active US Government security clearance TS/SCI


Important Information:
To conform to US Government space technology export regulations, applicants must be a US citizen, lawful permanent resident of the US, protected individual as defined by 8 USC 1324b(a)(3), or eligible to obtain the required authorization from the US Department of State.

Rocket Lab USA is an Equal Opportunity Employer, employment with Rocket Lab USA 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, gender identity, marital status, mental or physical disability or any other legally protected status

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