Spacecraft Operations Engineer
About The Role
Rocket Lab is a vertically integrated provider of small launch services, satellites, and spacecraft components. Our mission is to open access to space to improve life on Earth. Our team is over 1,500 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.
This is a rare opportunity to play a key role in Rocket Lab’s evolution into an end-to-end space company that delivers launch, spacecraft, and on-orbit operations. The Space Systems Division is shaping Rocket Lab’s future with Photon, our brand of high-performance satellites, enabling innovative missions in low Earth orbit and beyond including missions for NASA to LEO, the Moon, and Mars and commercial customers including leading the design and manufacture of 17 high power telecommunication spacecraft buses for Globalstar.
Rocket Lab is also growing spacecraft components business, anchored on the acquisition of Sinclair Interplanetary manufacturing reaction wheels and star trackers in Toronto, SolAero Technologies manufacturing solar power and primary structure solutions in Albuquerque, Planetary Systems Corporation manufacturing launch separation systems in Silver Spring, and Advanced Solutions, Inc. provider flight and ground software as a service in Denver. Our component’s business is key to vertically integrating our spacecraft solutions and enabling constellations for customers.
SPACECRAFT OPERATIONS ENGINEER
Based at Rocket Lab's new headquarters in Long Beach, California the Spacecraft Operations Engineer is responsible for the operations development and on-orbit operations of Rocket Lab’s Photon satellites. You will support the Spacecraft Operations Lead and the Spacecraft Operations team who are responsible for maintaining the health and safety of Rocket Lab’s growing fleet of spacecraft and ensuring that mission objectives and SLAs are met. The team’s goal is to maximize the value Rocket Lab can create from a constantly changing fleet of diverse spacecraft. The Spacecraft Operations team also works closely with related teams, such as the spacecraft design, AIT, flight software, etc., to help improve both the ground and satellite-based capabilities over time.
WHAT YOU’LL GET TO DO:
- Works with the launch operations team, spacecraft subsystem and systems engineers, flight software, and ground support to build outcomes and products that support the whole team.
- Communicates frequently and effectively, highlighting success and learning from failures.
- Support rigorous/challenging schedules during spacecraft ground-based testing, launch windows, and on-orbit operations.
- Develops automated processes to operate spacecraft.
- Strong communication skills and constructive participation in forward planning and incident response
YOU’LL BRING THESE QUALIFICATIONS:
- Bachelor's degree in aerospace, Systems, Software engineering or equivalent engineering degree
- Direct experience in any of the following: space mission design, satellite subsystems, ground systems or spacecraft operations
- Software development (python/ruby/C/C++/other high-level languages)
- Exposure to modern development practices – git, CI/CD, cloud infrastructure
- Familiarity with Linux systems and software development experience
THESE QUALIFICATIONS WOULD BE NICE TO HAVE:
- 3+ years of relevant work experience
- Prior experience in spacecraft operations
- Prior experience in satellite command and control
- Knowledge and experience with satellite ground systems
In addition to base salary, Rocket Lab offers a comprehensive total compensation offer package based on individual qualifications and experience, including company stock. Employees will also be eligible for medical, dental, vision coverage, 401(k) retirement plan options, and to purchase discounted stock through Rocket Lab's Employee Stock Purchase Program.
FOR CANDIDATES SEEKING TO WORK IN US OFFICES ONLY:
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 fromthe U.S Department of State.
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.
FOR CANDIDATES SEEKING TO WORK IN NEW ZEALAND OFFICES ONLY:
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.
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