Spacecraft Systems Engineer

Job Ref: 4052278003 | Type: Full-time

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About The Role

At Rocket Lab we believe the future will be defined and enabled by access to space. We’re making it easy to get there. We’re already the global leader in dedicated small satellite launch and now we’re also building satellites and space systems that enable exploration and innovation in low Earth orbit (LEO) and beyond.

Rocket Lab’s Global Launch Services (GLS) team at our Long Beach Headquarters is expanding to deliver superior service to commercial and government customers around the world. The GLS team leads business development for both launch and space systems as well as Rocket Lab’s Mission Management team.

Rocket Lab is seeking exceptional engineers to work on its Photon satellite program. Photon is a first-of-its-kind platform in the small satellite industry: a versatile satellite bus that is also an integral part of the launch vehicle. Photon is being developed to enable a broad range of missions in low-Earth orbit and beyond. Photon was recently selected by NASA to deploy a CubeSat to the Moon in 2021 as a pathfinder for Artemis, the program to return humans to the lunar surface.

Engineers supporting the Photon program have a unique opportunity to help shape this space system. The successful candidate will have a strong set of both technical and business skills, will have experience in related projects, and will thrive in a fast-paced, dynamic environment.


  • Develop and maintain technical budgets for vehicle performance.
  • Develop and manage system requirements and verification techniques.
  • Develop simulations and perform analysis across vehicle functions.
  • Develop test methods and plans for new developments.
  • Develop, in collaboration with team members, interface specifications, CONOPS definition, and other design documents.
  • Assist with customer meetings and facilitate technical exchanges with customers.
  • Assist with proposals and facilitate technical exchanges with the engineering team.
  • Assist with program management and product management.


  • A Bachelor of Science degree (or greater) in Aerospace Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, or equivalent.
  • 5+ years of experience specifically on satellite development programs, which can be anywhere from initial design through on-orbit operations.
  • Strong technical writing skills.
  • Understanding of key spacecraft subsystems and their associated components, including attitude determination and control, spacecraft electrical power systems, space-ground communications, on-orbit command and data handling, and thermal control.
  • Understanding of the space environment, orbital mechanics, and rigid body dynamics.
  • Proficiency with Matlab/Python/comparable.
  • Proficiency with STK.
  • Demonstrated success working in a dynamic environment with multiple priorities.
  • Experience with requirements management tools such as JAMA or DOORS.


  • Experience writing proposals and supporting spacecraft formulation activities.
  • Experience with customer-facing activities and business development.

To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, applicant must be a U.S. citizen as defined by ITAR (22 CFR §120.15) or eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. 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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