Space Systems Project Manager

Long Beach, United States (USA), Rocket Lab [4028278003]

Field(s) of expertise
Project and Service Management
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 recently-announced 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 Space Systems Project Manager, you’ll play a pivotal role in making this mission a success.

Engineers & PMs 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 Project Manager to support the development of Photon. Project Managers are responsible for the development of one or more specific Photon variants.


  • Project manager for the design, development, test, and production phases of Rocket Lab’s space systems for low Earth orbit and/or deep space missions.
  • Responsible for delivering Rocket Lab’s space systems to the launch pad on time and within budget.
  • Works in collaboration with the Photon chief engineer to plan and execute the Photon project.
  • Identifies implementation issues and proactively develops recovery plans before schedule and cost impacts are realized.
  • Approves selection and make/buy decisions of spacecraft components and manages subcontracts.
  • Reports project status, issues, and problems to Rocket Lab senior leadership.
  • Leads or approves inputs into proposal development and business development activities.
  • Team leader and accountable for the cost and schedule performance of the team.
  • Manages relationships with a broad set of engineering and production teams (not direct reports) to deliver on project goals.
  • Develops and maintains professional working relationships with all project stakeholders across the company.



  • 5+ years of demonstrated space systems project management experience across multiple spacecraft flight projects or programs
  • Bachelor of Science degree in engineering, physics, math, or related discipline
  • Demonstrated employee management experience and proficiency in task management
  • Thorough understanding of space systems and subsystems and demonstrated breadth and depth across multiple spacecraft engineering disciplines
  • Significant experience with systems engineering methods including systems trades, requirements management, performance characterization and interface management
  • Demonstrated ability to identify and address problems using a proactive, systematic approach
  • Demonstrated ability to formulate and implement project plans and cost and schedule against a baseline and meet requirements and stakeholder expectations
  • Broad understanding of the spacecraft component supply chain and broad network of vendor relationships across the supply chain
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal
  • Ability to travel regularly, including international travel


  • 10+ years of demonstrated space system project management experience across multiple spacecraft flight projects/programs
  • Formal project management qualifications such a PMP, APMP, etc.
  • Proficiency with project and engineering management tools, e.g., Microsoft Project, Teamcenter, etc.
  • Experience managing both low cost and high cost space programs
  • Experience managing both deep space and low Earth orbit missions
  • Experience with government customers, government requirements, and government project management practices
  • Experience with launch vehicle design, development, and/or operations
  • Active Secret or Top Secret/SCI security clearance or the ability to obtain one

Important Information:To conform to US Government space technology export regulations, applicants must be a US citizen, lawful permanent resident of the US, protected individual as defined by 8 USC 1324b(a)(3), or eligible to obtain the required authorization from the US 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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