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Senior Mechanical Design Engineer, Fluid Systems



Alameda, CA, USA
Posted on Saturday, December 24, 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 Fluid Systems Team designs, tests, and continuously improves upon all valves and other critical fluidic components and systems on the rocket. The team is comprised of highly talented engineers and technicians collaboratively working through the challenges of liquid propellant rocket development and manufacturing.
All forms of valve development, qualification, and acceptance tests are conducted within our Alameda facility.
The Opportunity
As a Mechanical Design Engineer on the fluid systems team, you will be a cross functional team member responsible for the detailed design of valves, mechanisms, high-pressure plumbing, and fluid systems/assemblies in support of current and future rocket vehicle and propulsion systems. Contribution to all phases of projects, from early proof of concept design through to fully qualified systems: reduce cost and complexity, improve system functionality, and ease of fabrication/assembly. Beyond mechanical design, you will also be responsible for analysis, analysis, material and vendor selection, and be an integral part of the development and qualification test efforts. All engineers work closely with technicians to assemble and disposition early builds. The creation of build instruction documentation and verification of requirements completes your responsibilities within the team. Ideal candidates possess a personal passion for mechanical and thermofluid systems and engineering as a whole.
As an engineer within the fluid systems team, you will have a system-level understanding of how a rocket operates, and maintain efficient designs from start to finish as hardware iterations are phased in. Engineering contribution includes the specification, system analysis, design, fabrication/procurement, assembly and test of components and subassemblies critical to the engines and stages. The ideal candidate possesses a broad range of engineering aptitude for structural, fluidic, and electromechanical systems.

How You'll Fulfill Your Mission

  • Design flight hardware components, assemblies, and interfaces. Engineering responsibility from initial design to launch performance.
  • Analyze components through hand calculations and FEA to show positive margin on design for flight critical hardware.
  • Validate hardware through rigorous qualification and acceptance tests.
  • Deliver quality results in a fast-paced work environment, while maintaining flexibility with changing priorities.
  • Document the progression of hardware development through design reviews, technical drawings, and work instructions.
  • Collaborate across teams to deliver a seamlessly integrated launch vehicle.


  • 3+ years of professional experience leading complex mechanical design projects from concept generation through design, development, and verification testing
  • Proficient with CAD and PLM software tools, particularly with large, shared assemblies
  • Extensive knowledge in material applications and manufacturing processes (machining, welding, brazing, metal forming, and heat treating)
  • Ability to convey design intent through proper engineering drawings and GD&T
  • Designing hardware with weight, cost, and manufacturability in mind
  • Initiative to execute on open-ended problems and deliver quality results
  • Can clearly communicate technical reasoning and manage hardware interfaces collaboratively between teams

Desired Multipliers

  • Experience with cryogenic and pressurized systems
  • Experience with designing complex, integrated hardware systems
  • Experience with FEA of mechanical systems with applied thermal and pressure loads
  • Critical thinking applied to root cause investigation and corrective actions
  • Familiarity with dimensional inspection equipment
  • Have coordinated multi-disciplinary projects across an organization
  • Be comfortable working in a fast-paced, self-driven entrepreneurial workplace where you get your hands dirty working directly with hardware
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.