Spacecraft Operations Lead

Long Beach, United States (USA), Rocket Lab [4028306003 ]

Field(s) of expertise
Software 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 Spacecraft Operations Lead to spearhead development of Rocket Lab’s satellite operations team, methods, and infrastructure. In this role, you will be responsible for planning and executing the operations of Rocket Lab’s Photon satellites. The role will involve product management for ground software development, development of processes and procedures, and working with an interdisciplinary team of engineers, including operations staff and infrastructure from Rocket Lab’s Electron launch operations.



  • Develop, in collaboration with other stakeholders, the satellites operations strategy and roadmap.
  • Develop and implement overall satellite operations processes and methods for Rocket Lab satellites.
  • Operate satellites and manage day-to-day activities of operations staff.




  • Bachelor’s degree in Software Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, or equivalent.
  • 5+ years of experience within Spacecraft operations or space mission design, including both spacecraft and ground segment work.
  • 3+ years of program management experience.
  • Familiarity with key satellite subsystems.
  • Strong understanding of orbital mechanics, modeling and simulation, and software development.
  • Demonstrated success leading small and agile teams.
  • Systems engineering experience.


  • Experience with STK
  • Experience with scripting and data processing (Python, Matlab, etc)
  • Experience with cloud infrastructure (AWS, Azure, etc)
  • Experience in software product management
  • Expertise in one or more satellite subsystems
  • Expertise in systems engineering best practices

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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