Payload Integration & Operations Engineer

Company Virgin Galactic
Category Engineering
US-NM-Las Cruces
Req No.
Regular Full-Time
Location : Location
US-NM-Las Cruces

Who we are

Virgin Galactic, (SPCE:NYSE), recognizes that the answers to many of the challenges we face in sustaining life on our beautiful but fragile planet, lie in making better use of space. Sending people to space has not only expanded our understanding of science, but taught us amazing things about human ingenuity, physiology and psychology. From space, we are able to look with a new perspective both outward and back. From space, the borders that are fought over on Earth are arbitrary lines. From space, it is clear that there is much more that unites us than divides us.


“We are at the vanguard of a new industry determined to pioneer twenty-first century spacecraft, which will open space to everybody — and change the world for good.”  Sir Richard Branson, Founder, Virgin Galactic

Your Mission

Your Mission

Virgin Galactic is seeking an incredibly talented, energetic, and experienced candidate to join our Mission Operations team. The role comprises a wide variety of responsibilities and requires flexibility and gumption. The ideal candidate will be capable of working in a fast-paced environment with many quick turn-around tasks assigned daily. They must be comfortable working with minimal supervision and performing many responsibilities simultaneously. We are looking for a self-starter: someone who is project oriented, able to assess needs, implement processes, and quickly produce results with a high attention to detail.

This experienced Payload Integration and Operations Engineer for our fleet vehicles will coordinate management and schedule efforts related to the integration of onsite payloads mission operations support. Qualified candidates should have a strong technical background in flight and ground operations, and mechanical or aerospace engineering. Experience working and coordinating with government representatives, senior executives, external customers or other VIPs is a must. Successful candidates will demonstrate an ability to balance technical knowledge and business acumen to fill this role.


Roles & Responsibilities

  • Payload Mission Integration
    • Coordinate with customer research teams from initial inquiries through to flight execution
      • Coordinate Feasibility assessment and Payload Information Package (PIP) review for potential payloads.
      • POC for initial payload integration review.  Involves technical feedback and PIP iterations.
      • Coordinate discipline review (includes feedback and PIP iterations) and management review (presentation to management review board).
      • Coordinate research team travel, badging, hospitality, payload shipping and security screening, onsite preparations, etc.
      • Facilitate reviews with customer Principal Investigators as VG technical focal.
    • Payload flight preparation
      • Coordinate payload system readiness (payload racks installations, Payload Battery Pack, etc.).
      • Coordinate Payload inputs for flight profile and flight cards.
      • Provide flight profile data to research teams
      • Provide Technical input for FAA Mission Readiness Review, Reciprocal Waivers of Claims, Informed Consent, etc.
      • Develop/present Flight Readiness Review Payloads presentation
      • Author engineering documentation
        • Payload installation/removals
        • Payload power-on and activation checklists
        • Payload Electro-magnetic Inference (EMI) check procedures
        • Payload manifest forms
      • Prepare Payload Operations Area at GTS (work area allocation, tool inventory, etc.)
      • Perform Flight week planning in coordination with Flight ops, Maintenance, Engineering, Operations, etc.
      • Conduct Onsite payload inspections
      • Support payload installations
      • Run payload EMI checks
      • Participate in cabin familiarization sessions
      • Look at flight week to do list for reminders
      • Perform Payload activation/deactivation during payload EMI checks and day-prior comm checks
      • Flight day payload activation/deactivation/removal
    • Conduct/support Bi-weekly payload meetings
    • Prepare Post-flight Data review slides and presentation
    • Compile Post-flight data for research teams
    • Contribute to post-flight deliverables (reports, etc.) to NASA or customers 
  • Work closely with VG leadership, program management, and engineering to optimize payload operations.

What you bring

  • Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace or Mechanical Engineering, with 1+ years relevant industry experience 
  • Working knowledge of aircraft and space systems is desirable.
  • Excellent analytical and problem solving skills with high attention to detail.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal and customer service skills.
  • Strong IT skills, including Excel and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) tools. Computer Aided Design (CAD) experience is desirable.


ITAR Requirements

To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, applicant must be a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident of the U.S., protected individual as defined by ITAR (22 CFR §120.15) or eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State.


As part of our commitment to health and safety, COVID-19 vaccines are required for current U.S. teammates, as well as all newly hired employees. 

As of October 1, 2021, all new hires must be able to provide proof that they are fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus, ( “fully vaccinated” means at least two weeks have expired since receiving the vaccination’s last dose as recommended by the manufacturer) . If  you are offered employment, this requirement must be met by your date of hire. 


Virgin Galactic is an Equal Opportunity Employer; employment with Virgin Galactic is governed on the basis of merit, competence and qualifications and will not be influenced in any manner by race, color, religion, gender, national origin/ethnicity, veteran status, disability status, age, sexual orientation, marital status, mental or physical disability or any other legally protected status.


As part of our commitment to health and safety, COVID-19 vaccines are required for current U.S. teammates, as well as newly hired employees.

 As of October 1, 2021, all new hires must be able to provide proof that they are fully vaccinated against the COVID-19virus, (“fully vaccinated” means at least two week have expired since receiving the vaccination’s last dose as recommended by the manufacturer).  If you are offered employment, this requirement must be met be your date of hire.  Virgin Galactic complies with federal, state, and local laws with regard to accommodations related to this policy.


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