Program Manager / Mission Manager

California|Huntington Beach, United States (USA), Rocket Lab [2907897]

Field(s) of expertise
Aerospace Engineering Project and Service Management
Job type

About this job

Candidate must have an aptitude for customer interfacing. Candidate will work directly with customers from signing of contract through payload integration and launch. Experience with CubeSats, SmallSats, or small space payloads is highly desirable as well as prior DoD/IC program management experience, or mission management / mission integration experience. Based out of Rocket Lab USA HQ in Huntington Beach, CA this position will require frequent domestic and international travel to customers and launch sites worldwide. To support our growing government business an active DoD  security clearance (Secret or TS) is desirable, but not required.


  • Management of multiple Rocket Lab customer missions, including technical, programmatic, and financial milestones.
  • Oversees hands-on payload integration activities, including fit checks, dispenser and launch vehicle integration.
  • Assists business development with proposal input, lead generation, and technical sales engineering reviews.
  • Responsible for development and verification of Launch Vehicle to Spacecraft Interface Control Documentation (ICD).
  • Ability to create and execute assembly integration instructions.
  • In constant contact with customers to answer questions with technical staff as required.
  • Represent the company at public events, including conferences, industry forums, outreach and recruiting events.
  • Helps lead Mission Integrators in expanding their mission management skillset.


  • Minimum Qualifications:
    • 5+ years of mission management experience and/or an engineering background (stress, fatigue, payloads, vibration, thermal or similar).
    • Bachelor’s degree in an engineering or technical discipline – Mechanical, Electrical or Aerospace degree preferred.
    • Hardware integration or project management experience on either launch vehicles or spacecraft projects.
    • Ability to travel to launch pads, customer sites, and overseas (e.g. Rocket Labs New Zealand facility/launch site).
  • Required Skills:
    • Solid interpersonal and organizational skills, able to assist with closure of sales / customer capture.
    • Ability to understand technical constraints relative to payload launch including results from mission specific analysis.
    • Solid presentation and technical writing skills.
  • Preferred Skills / Experience:
    • Experience with CubeSats, SmallSats, or other small space payloads.
    • ITAR – Previous experience with ITAR and establishment of TAA’s.
    • Previous Mission Management or Mission Integration experience.
    • Experience working with complex mechanical systems with your own hands.
    • Ability to read mechanical and electrical drawings.
    • Ability to perform electrical and mechanical testing.
    • Previous space sector sales engineering experience including management of customer expectations.
    • Active DoD Secret clearance preferred but not required.

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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