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Launch Engineer



Other Engineering
Alameda, CA, USA
Posted on Friday, January 28, 2022
The Company
Astra’s mission is to Improve Life on Earth from Space® by creating a healthier and more connected planet. Today, Astra offers one of the lowest cost-per-launch dedicated orbital launch services of any operational launch provider in the world, and one of the industry’s first flight-proven electric propulsion systems for satellites, Astra Spacecraft Engine™. Astra delivered its first commercial launch to low Earth orbit in 2021, making it the fastest company in history to reach this milestone, just five years after it was founded in 2016. Astra (NASDAQ: ASTR) was the first space launch company to be publicly traded on Nasdaq.
The Team
The Launch Operations Team are the ones that get to test and fly our rockets! As part of launch team, you will work closely with other Astra teams, and our external partners to prepare, test and fly our vehicles from our current launch site In Kodiak, Alaska as well as helping to develop new launch sites. We are a group with a diverse background, recognizing that new skills help us all grow, learn, and be better, and who are never afraid to speak up and ask "why?".
The Opportunity
As a Launch Engineer, you will partner with teams across Astra to ensure the successful delivery of payloads to orbit. You will direct portions of integrated rocket testing, write procedures, build out test and launch sites, manage payloads and support orbital rocket launches. You will draw on your knowledge of mechanical, fluidic, and electrical principles to ensure the safety of hardware and personnel, all while balancing cost and schedule constraints in mission-critical environments. This role will involve some travel to test and launch sites, potentially for several weeks at a time. You must communicate clearly, respond calmly to difficult situations, and have the motivation to – when required – spend long hours or weekends on console or in the field.

How You'll Fulfill Your Mission

  • Safety: is Astra’s first priority, and launch involves hazards from cryogenics to heavy lifting. You will predict, monitor and mitigate these hazards in order to minimize risks and prevent injuries.
  • Partner: with teams across Astra. Launching a rocket is the culmination of work across the entire company, and you will be expected to coordinate with each team in order to resolve issues, make improvements, and keep us on schedule.
  • Design: the equipment, processes and procedures that enable us to launch quickly, safely and reliably
  • Problem solve: development leads to new situations, issues, and trade-offs. You will be expected to attack these problems and devise solutions, usually under significant time and resource constraints.
  • Document: the procedures, problems, and results in each phase in the launch process. We only improve when problems are recorded and dissected, and customers are only satisfied by detailed accounting of our processes.


  • 3+ years of Control Room / Console Experience in either aviation, aerospace, or space tech industries
  • 2+ years experience in a leadership control room / flight testing position
  • Ability to accommodate regular travel to test and launch sites up to 25%
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to stand for long periods of time and lift 50 pounds
  • Demonstrated experience in designing and documenting equipment, including build procedures to run operations safely
  • Experience leading hazardous testing/training and launch operations
  • Ability to read and understand CAD and P&ID drawings
  • Possess an enthusiasm about space, rocketry, and launch operations
  • Excellent technical, analytic, and troubleshooting knowledge witht a penchant for detail
  • Experience in fluidic, mechanical, electrical and logical systems
  • 4-year degree in a relevant field or equivalent experience

Desired Multipliers

  • Highly detailed oriented and passionate about advancing the commercial space industry
  • Master's degree in an engineering discipline
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced, autonomously driven start-up environment
ITAR Requirements: This position requires compliance with U.S. Government space technology trade restrictions, specifically the International Trafficking in Arms Regulations (ITAR), Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and additional regulations governing satellite, launch vehicle, missile, and other related technologies. All jobs restricted by these regulations will be contingent upon the applicant’s status as a documented U.S. Person or their ability to receive a trade license from the cognizant government agency; in addition to any required company background checks and in compliance with applicable U.S. and California laws. Similarly, positions requiring the ability to work on government contracts or a security clearance are also contingent upon the applicants ability to receive the appropriate clearance and be allowed to work on U.S. government contracts.
You do not need to match every listed expectation to apply for this position. Here at Astra, we know that diverse perspectives foster the innovation we need to be successful, and we are committed to building a team that encompasses a variety of backgrounds, experiences, and skills.
San Francisco Applicants: Astra will consider applicants with arrest and conviction records (criminal histories) in a manner consistent with the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance.