Satellite Propulsion Engineer

Job Ref: 2993624 | Type: Permanent / Full Time

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About The Role

About Rocket Lab
Rocket Lab is the global leader in dedicated small satellite launch. Launching from right here in New Zealand, we design and build innovative technology to give small satellites a premium ride to orbit. 
Small satellites play a crucial role in our day-to-day lives – they connect us, keep us safe, help us understand our planet and manage our impact on it, and they enable us to innovate and explore. 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 relentlessly innovative team is behind Electron, the world’s only truly commercial small satellite launch vehicle in operation today. With multiple orbital launches under our belt and a record of 100% mission success, we’re opening access to space to improve life on Earth. We’ve built a world class team with a reputation for doing the impossible. Collaboration is at our core - every idea is heard and everyone makes a difference.  Every day, we pursue ideas that challenge, excite and demand more of us, and we make them real. Be a part of it.
About the Role
The satellite propulsion engineer is responsible for leading the development of the Photon satellite bus liquid and gas plumbing systems for long term space operations. Specifically, the control of the pressurant gas and the propellants for the RCS thrusters and Curie bi-propellant main propulsion. In addition, we are looking for expertise to develop the storage tanks for the pressurant gas and the propellants for the RCS thrusters and Curie bi-propellant main propulsion. There are multiple roles open to cover this work.
Day to day you will be working with a team of experienced engineers to concept, design, test, produce and operate the fluid systems to deliver successful Photon missions. A baseline version of the fluid systems does exist, but it is receiving a complete overhaul in architecture for increased reliability, performance and operational capability in a space environment – this is the primary responsibility.
This role must deliver a product that is highly adaptable for the different configurations that the Photon satellite bus could fly with. We are looking for a technical leader with experience to achieve the required outcome efficiently. In addition, flight data analysis and review will be required along with contributions to technical decisions for unique missions that could be carried out.

Photon is Rocket Lab’s in-house designed and built satellite platform that is designed to pair with Electron as a bundled satellite build and launch service. Photon enables Rocket Lab to deliver an all-inclusive spacecraft build and launch service that helps small satellite customers focus on delivering their service from orbit and generating revenue, rather than building their own satellite hardware. Our Photon engineers provide technical leadership and nuance to all aspects of Photon’s design, development, and build. They collaborate across Rocket Lab’s avionics, manufacturing, engineering, software, and launch teams to manage the process from factory to launch, and also work with our prestigious customers during their launch campaign.

Preferred skills and expertise
    • 5 years experience directly related to in-space fluid systems for satellites
    • Able to interpret information from others and make sound engineering decisions relevant to area of responsibility
    • Able to identify work and information needed to achieve development milestones
    • Experienced working in a multi-disciplined team
    • Able to make effective decisions between selecting “off the shelf” and purpose built components to achieve requirements.
    • Degree in mechanical/aerospace engineering or equivalent
    • CAD, thermal, FMEA experience

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.

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