Job opportunities


Launch Vehicle Technical Lead, First Stage



Alameda, CA, USA
Posted on Friday, December 8, 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 Launch Product Development 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 systems to build and when, leading technical teams in design and development, managing all requirements across the entire company, and leading engineering 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
This role will manage the overall technical execution of launch vehicle system development. Lead a team for developing products that will transition to production, manage upgrades/improvements, ensure qualification for flight, and support launch operations. Our product-based team will support the early development and definition, lead the design of critical hardware, develop operational plans and procedures, support tooling and fabrication design, manage risks, and work with assembly and operations personnel to test and deliver our systems within schedule and budget.
-Own the overall technical lifecycle of product from development to qualification and production
-Design authority for launch vehicle stage development and manufacturing process development
-Design & Analyze flight systems
-Deliver operational launch vehicle stage systems, on-time and on-budget
-Support program planning and execution including scope, scheduling, and resource allocation
-Manage technical risks and opportunities
-Identify risk, document, communicate, develop mitigation plans and drive to an acceptable level
-Communicate technical status, critical paths, challenges, and recommended solutions
-Provide technical oversight and authority for a range of hardware solutions
-Support requirement decomposition and allocation, systems engineering, technical design, analysis, and verification/validation
-Manage internal and external interfaces
-Oversee Issue tickets, drawing release, work orders, and test planning
-Own design to cost, producibility, and test for the system

How You’ll Fulfill Your Mission

  • Partner: with our Engineering and Product teams to design and develop launch vehicle stage systems that will make a difference in how Astra operates and give your perspective on how the teams should best do their work
  • Build: the designs to meet the customer’s need and inform engineering trades in support of engineering requirements for the launch system
  • Collaborate: across the Engineering, Manufacturing, Operations and Product organizations to Integrate and ensure our product integrates and meets the design Intent
  • Develop: Create and oversee processes that will enable Astra to stay disciplined in design and development of launch vehicle systems

Why We Value You

  • Minimum of a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering or equivalent STEM degree
  • 8+ years of experience in product development and leadership
  • Experience with CAD, drawings, and GD&T
  • Experience with designing parts and choosing the appropriate manufacturing method (including machining, welding, brazing, metal forming)
  • Demonstrated experience leading multi-disciplinary engineering trades (mechanical, propulsion, fluid, thermodynamics, Electronics, avionics, software, production, etc.)
  • Demonstrated Design for Manufacturing and Design for Assembly experience
  • Desire to lead and manage teams on fast-paced hardware and flight projects
  • Demonstrated technical expertise in at least 2 of the following areas: space qualified launch vehicles, propulsion systems, fluid/mechanical systems, avionics, manufacturing, systems engineering, integration, and/or test
  • Ability to lead projects and make solid decisions with incomplete data

Desired Multipliers

  • Demonstrated expertise in structural design and analysis.
  • Thorough understanding of fluid mechanics, heat transfer and thermodynamics.
  • Experience with Project Management (Cost & Schedule management)
  • Complete product lifecycle experience (Requirements to Field Operations)
  • Experience interfacing with external customers, subcontractors, suppliers
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.