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Mechanical Engineer - Launch Product Development



Other Engineering, Product
Alameda, CA, USA
Posted on Tuesday, February 21, 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
The Stage Structures Team is a cross-functional group of technicians and engineers working to constantly improve our launch vehicle capability. We develop the components, sub-assemblies and complete stage integration to achieve orbital performance. Our team touches all aspects of system design including preliminary trade studies and system level definition as well as mission support and post-flight data reviews.
All forms of vehicle development, qualification and acceptance tests are conducted within our Alameda facility.
The Opportunity
Come join a multidisciplinary team of engineers and technicians providing industry leading solutions for liquid propulsion orbital launch vehicle systems. As a Mechanical Engineer of our Launch Product Development team, you will be responsible for the analysis, design, fabrication/procurement, assembly and test of all aspects of our system. This includes but is not limited to propellant tanks, fluid and electric quick-disconnect couplings, custom valves and regulators, stage structures and pneumatic systems. Emphasis on minimizing cost while also enabling short lead time production and assembly are key to success.
This position goes beyond our immediate team, as you will also work closely with Supply Chain, Test and Launch Operations Teams. This role will report to the Manager of Upper Stage Structures.

How You'll Fulfill Your Mission

  • Own components/sub-assemblies of our upper stage system to create design solutions from initial concept to detailed solid models and released drawing packages including documentation of assembly.
  • Analyze components using CFD, FEA and hand calculations to inform mechanical/pneumatic designs.
  • Create development, qualification and acceptance testing plans for your system and support execution.
  • Collaborate with a cross-disciplinary team of system owners including electrical, mechanical, controls, and software engineers to support launch operations; conduct design reviews and implement feedback/obtain stakeholder buy-in and to verify and document cross-team requirements are satisfied.
  • Challenge the existing assumptions and design choices, bring your own design experience and influences to our systems.


  • You have 5 - 10 years of mechanical and/or propulsion design experience
  • You have a Bachelors or Masters degree in Mechanical or Aerospace Engineering (or related)
  • You are an expert with CAD (NX), drawings, and GD&T
  • You are comfortable creating tools for both design and test data processing (ranging from excel spreadsheets for mechanical analyses to data processing scripts on MATLAB or Python)
  • You have experience designing parts and choosing the appropriate manufacturing method (including machining, welding, brazing, metal forming)
  • You have a bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering (or related field)
  • You can leverage your understanding of engineering first principles to produce hand calculations supporting initial designs
  • You own projects from beginning to end, with minimal oversight
  • You’re excited to work in a fast-paced, self-driven, iterative startup environment, and to build the systems that enable daily launches to space

Desired Multipliers

  • Experience in Aerospace design
  • Experience reviewing data and identifying root cause in failures and providing recommendations
  • High temperature and/or high pressure structural design
  • Thorough understanding of fluid mechanics, heat transfer and thermodynamics
  • Demonstrated expertise in FEA or CFD
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.