Systems Engineer, Senior (Satellite)

Long Beach, United States (USA), Rocket Lab [4083561003]

Field(s) of expertise
Telecommunications 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.


Reporting to the program Chief Engineer and collaboratively closely with team members across all subsystems, the senior systems engineer will be responsible for the development and maintenance of technical budgets, requirements definition, test planning and execution, analysis and simulations, management of the overall systems engineering process and application, hardware testing, and management of subcontractors and vendors.

Working within the systems engineering group, the team 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.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Lead and own technical development of Rocket Lab spacecraft missions.
  • 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.


Required Skills & Experience

  • Bachelor of Science in Aerospace, Mechanical, Electrical, or equivalent engineering degree. Advance degree preferred.
  • 10+ years of experience specifically on satellite development programs.
  • Understanding of key spacecraft subsystems and their associated components including; attitude determination and control (ADCS), electrical power systems (EPS), space-ground communications, on-orbit command and data handling (C&DH), and thermal control.
  • Thorough understanding of the space environment, orbital mechanics, and rigid body dynamics.
  • Expertise in Matlab, Python, or comparable.
  • Proficiency with STK.
  • Demonstrated success working in a dynamic environment with multiple priorities.
  • Experience with requirements management tools such as JAMA or DOORS.

Desired Skills & Experience

  • 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.

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