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Test Development Engineer



Software Engineering
Alameda, CA, USA
Posted on Sunday, April 2, 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 Test Infrastructure Team is responsible for designing the next generation of test facilities here at Astra. We are a collaborative team that collects requirements from the product and engineering teams and develops the necessary infrastructure to support the validation of those requirements. Our designs enable the detailed understanding and validation of the hardware that will take our customers to space.
The Opportunity
Be a part of the team that will be designing and developing new world class test facilities for Astra. You will be a part of the development of everything from small single component test stands all the way through large multi-engine test facilities.

How You'll Fulfill Your Mission

  • Safety: Astra’s first priority is safety, and test involves hazards from cryogenics to heavy lifting. You will anticipate these hazards and develop unique engineering controls for the test stands and facilities to mitigate risk.
  • Design and Develop: Conceptualize and develop test stands incorporating mechanical, electrical, fluidic, and software requirements to test and validate flight hardware.
  • Build and Create: Fabricate, assemble, troubleshoot, and repair hardware/equipment needed to commission and operate new test infrastructure.
  • Innovate and Iterate: Constantly be looking forward to the next big challenge. Improving and iterating on current designs to consistently exceed the requirements and deliver results under budget and ahead of schedule.
  • Partner and Collaborate: Work with a cross-disciplinary team of system owners including electrical, mechanical, controls, and software engineers to design and build test stands that can validate our flight hardware.


  • 5+ years of experience in the design of hazardous/extreme pressure and temperature test facilities
  • You have an advanced degree in engineering, physics, mathematics, or equivalent
  • You are proficient with CAD and PLM software tools, particularly with large, shared assemblies
  • You have deep experience designing large steel structures
  • You are competent in FEA of mechanical systems with applied thermal and pressure loads
  • You have demonstrated skills in fluids analysis and design of piping systems
  • You have a strong understanding of fluid system components (i.e. valves, regulators, pressure transducers, flow meters, load cells, etc.)
  • You have a working understanding of ASME BPVC and ASME B31.3
  • You have initiative to execute on open-ended problems and deliver quality results
  • You clearly communicate technical reasoning and manage hardware interfaces collaboratively between teams; using P&IDs, CAD and engineering drawings of parts and piping systems
  • 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

  • Knowledge or familiarity with rocket engine thrust chambers, pumps, valves, pressure vessels, batteries, avionics hardware, aluminum, or composite structures
  • Knowledge and working experience in industrial power generation, plant operation, combustion devices, crane, and heavy machinery operation
  • Experience in designing and fabricating complex fluid systems using mechanical techniques such as tube bending, threading, and structural assembly
  • Experience reviewing data, resolving issues with test hardware, and identifying root cause in failures
  • Experience with cryogenic systems or high pressure pneumatic systems
  • Willing to travel to various production, test, and launch locations
  • Ability to stand for long periods of time and physically lift items weighing up to 50lbs
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.