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GNC Engineer I

Rocket Lab

Rocket Lab

Littleton, CO, USA
Posted on Wednesday, August 23, 2023

About The Role

Rocket Lab

Rocket Lab is a vertically integrated provider of small launch services, satellites, and spacecraft components. Our mission is to open access to space to improve life on Earth. Our team is over 1,500 people strong and we’re adding to it every week. Collaboration is at our core – every idea is heard, and everyone makes a difference. Teams are nimble, decisions are made quickly, and we are action oriented.

Life at Rocket Lab


This is a rare opportunity to play a key role in Rocket Lab’s evolution into an end-to-end space company that delivers launch, spacecraft, and on-orbit operations. The Space Systems Division is shaping Rocket Lab’s future with Photon, our brand of high-performance satellites, enabling innovative missions in low Earth orbit and beyond including missions for NASA to LEO, the Moon, and Mars and commercial customers, including leading the design and manufacture of 17 high-power telecommunication spacecraft buses for Globalstar.

Rocket Lab is also growing our spacecraft components business, anchored on the acquisition of Sinclair Interplanetary manufacturing reaction wheels and star trackers in Toronto, SolAero Technologies manufacturing solar power and primary structure solutions in Albuquerque, Planetary Systems Corporation manufacturing launch separation systems in Silver Spring, and Advanced Solutions, Inc., provider of flight and ground software as a service in Denver. Our components business is key to vertically integrating our spacecraft solutions and enabling constellations for customers.


Based out of Rocket Lab's ASI office in Littleton CO the GNC Engineer I must demonstrate a firm grasp of spacecraft GNC concepts and applications. Work to include all facets of the engineering life cycle: spacecraft concept and algorithm development, flight software implementation, subsystem requirements development, detailed GNC design, subsystem integration & test (I&T), and vehicle I&T. You will support the Space Systems Software organization to execute leading edge programs and products. 


  • GNC design, modeling, and analysis for a wide variety of spacecraft and space missions to include LEO, MEO, GEO, Lunar, Interplanetary, Reentry, and RPOD.
  • Design of flight software, algorithms, and simulation product
  • Development of spacecraft autonomy tools for constellation management
  • GNC component selection and GNC subsystem design
  • Test process development and execution
  • Define fault detection and response
  • Hardware-in-the-loop and monte carlo simulation
  • Integration of flight and simulation software with modern analysis, test, and operations tools
  • Support internal and external design reviews


  • Bachelor’s degree in computer science, aerospace engineering or similar technical discipline
  • Experience with C++ or similar object-oriented programming language
  • Experience with aerospace design/development or similar
  • Knowledge of GNC sensors and actuators
  • Proficiency in MATLAB, Python, or similar
  • Proficiency in C++ or similar object-oriented programming language


  • Advanced degree in computer science, aerospace engineering or similar technical discipline
  • Experience with the following:
    • STK or other space mission analysis tools
    • C++
    • Orbital Dynamics
    • Atmospheric Flight
    • Spacecraft operations
    • Spacecraft manufacturing
    • Rendezvous, proximity ops, and docking (RPOD)
    • Entry, decent, and landing
    • Lunar or Interplanetary missions
    • Atmospheric GNC
    • Flex, slosh, and multi-body modeling
    • State space and frequency domain analysis
    • STK, ODTK, Astrogator, or similar space mission analysis tools
    • Spacecraft operations
    • Spacecraft manufacturing

The expected salary range for the position is displayed in accordance with the Colorado Equal Pay for Equal Work Act. Final agreed upon compensation is based upon individual qualifications and experience. 

 In addition to base salary, Rocket Lab offers a comprehensive total compensation package based on individual qualifications and experience, which may include cash or equity incentives. Employees will also be eligible for medical, dental, vision coverage, 401(k) retirement plan options, and to purchase discounted stock through Rocket Lab's Employee Stock Purchase Program. 

Base Pay Range (CO Only)
$85,000$125,000 USD

Important information:


To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, including the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), Rocket Lab Employees must be a U.S. citizen, lawful U.S. permanent resident (i.e., current Green Card holder), or lawfully admitted into the U.S. as a refugee or granted asylum, or be eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State and/or the U.S. Department of Commerce, as applicable. Learn more about ITAR here.

Rocket Lab provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment at Rocket Lab, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.

Applicants requiring a reasonable accommodation for the application/interview process for a job in the United States should contact Giulia Biow at [email protected].This dedicated resource is intended solely to assist job seekers with disabilities whose disability prevents them from being able to apply/interview. Only messages left for this purpose will be considered. A response to your request may take up to two business days.



For security reasons background checks will be undertaken prior to any employment offers being made to an applicant.  These checks will include nationality checks as it is a requirement of this position that you be eligible to access equipment and data regulated by the United States' International Traffic in Arms Regulations. 

Under these Regulations, you may be ineligible for this role if you do not hold citizenship of Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, the European Union or a country that is part of NATO, or if you hold ineligible dual citizenship or nationality.  For more information on these Regulations, click here ITAR Regulations.


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