Spacecraft Systems Engineer

Long Beach, United States (USA), Rocket Lab [4083569003]

Field(s) of expertise
Aerospace Engineering Electronics Engineering
Job type

About this job

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 and beyond.


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 has been selected by NASA to deploy a CubeSat to the Moon in 2021 as a pathfinder for Gateway, the program to return humans to the lunar surface. As the Spacecraft Systems Engineer, you’ll play a pivotal role in making this mission a success.

Engineers within the Photon team have a unique opportunity to help shape this space system and, given the high launch cadence of Electron, have unparalleled opportunities for end-to-end system development and on-orbit operations. The successful candidate will have a strong set of technical skills, will have experience in related projects, and will thrive in a fast-paced, dynamic environment


Rocket Lab is seeking a Systems Engineer to support the development of Photon. This person will report to the program Chief Engineer and will work collaboratively with team members across all subsystems. The systems engineering group is responsible for the overall technical architecture of the vehicle and for overall development of the vehicle, from initial concept definition through on-orbit operations. Specific areas of work include, but are not limited to, development and maintenance of technical budgets, requirements definition, test planning and execution, various analysis and simulations, management of the overall systems engineering process and application, hardware testing, and managing subcontractors and vendors.


  • 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 participate in testing and data analysis.
  • Assist with program management and product management.
  • Develop, in collaboration with team members, interface specifications, CONOPS definition, and other design documents.



  • A Bachelor of Science degree (or greater) in Aerospace Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, or equivalent.
  • 2+ years of experience specifically on satellite development programs, which can be anywhere from initial design through on-orbit operations.
  • 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.
  • Thorough understanding of the space environment, orbital mechanics, and rigid body dynamics.
  • Expertise in 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 testing electrical subsystems and assemblies.
  • Experience with environmental testing, such as thermal vacuum or random vibration testing.
  • Experience with satellite operations.
  • Experience with hardware-in-the-loop testing.

Important Information:

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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