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Senior Staff Systems Engineer



Software Engineering
Alameda, CA, USA
Posted on Friday, February 10, 2023
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
Astra leads the industry in applying agile iterative development to space launch systems. Astra’s System Engineering team is at the center of this process: orchestrating the technical details for our current and future rockets, engaging in immediate and long-term analysis to determine what rockets to build and when, managing requirements and verifications, and leading high level engineering trades and reviews. We work in close collaboration with a wide spectrum of stakeholders both inside and outside of Astra, delivering answers bound by physics and engineering. Our input is vital to making sure we are building the right thing.
The Opportunity
As one of Astra’s Senior Staff Systems Engineers, you will contribute to improving our processes and advancing engineering excellence across our development program.

How You'll Fulfill Your Mission

  • Participate and guide system design and development at all stages of development lifecycle
  • Use Systems Engineering methods and tools to develop systems engineering products such as requirements decomposition, system architecture; specifications, systems engineering and program plans, interfaces, risk assessment and mitigation, validation and verification planning, overall integration, etc.
  • Apply interdisciplinary, collaborative approaches to plan, coordinate, design, develop and verify complex systems solutions
  • Develop system-level trade studies to inform Astra’s product roadmap, specifying the most important high-level features of the next iterations of our launch system
  • Run and analyze trajectories and other system analyses for future rockets and launch sites
  • Develop architectural diagrams and products like Concept of Operations and system use cases to establish architecture definition and design
  • Participate in specialty engineering (operability, reliability, maintainability, supportability) integration, analysis and verification
  • Implement verification & validation and master test plans
  • Lead teams to define and disseminate interface control documentation, allowing systems to communicate effectively as we scale faster than ever
  • Engage with leads and teammates across engineering disciplines
  • Assist with definition and coordination of system performance requirements and technical parameters.
  • You will truly enjoy what you do, be flexible and communicative. This role has extensive cross-functional interaction to drive strategies down to execution while keeping up the pace of Astra.


  • 12+ years system development/integration experience on complex autonomous systems – preferably with aerospace hardware
  • Expertise with system architecture, requirements, interface definition, verification, and validation, risk, issues and opportunities management and trade studies.
  • Experience configuring and owning systems engineering tools such as JAMA, DOORS, DNG, or similar
  • Experience system modeling and performance analysis tools
  • Experience working with different development processes and comfortable authoring new processes
  • You are not afraid of technical details, you learn fast, and you are motivated to understand every aspect of your product
  • You thoughtfully and thoroughly engage all stakeholders in decision-making and effectively build alignment around decisions
  • You bring a structured approach to ambiguous problems, turning head-scratchers into solvable problems with clear next steps
  • You know how to balance rigor with speed and can mentor others across the engineering organization
  • You are comfortable being responsible for the system architecture of one or more of Astra's product lines
  • You know how to lead people who don't report to you
  • B.S. degree in engineering or another technical field

Desired Multipliers

  • M.S or PhD in engineering or another technical field relevant to orbital launch vehicles or satellites
  • Hands on hardware test and integration experience
  • Experience in reliability, maintainability and supportability analysis and execution
  • Experience working with trajectory optimization and/or orbital mechanics
  • System Safety analysis experience including Failure Modes, Effects and Criticality Analysis, Fault Tree Analysis, and Functional Hazard Analysis
  • Demonstrated configuration management experience
  • Experience in high growth / startup environments
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.