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Space Operations Engineer

Rocket Lab

Rocket Lab

Auckland, New Zealand
Posted on Tuesday, November 14, 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.

While other companies talk about it, we do it!


About the role

Based at Rocket Lab's Auckland Production Complex, New Zealand, the Spacecraft Operations Engineer is responsible for the operations development and on-orbit operations of Rocket Lab’s satellites contracts. You will support the global Spacecraft Operations team that are responsible for maintaining the health and safety of Rocket Lab’s growing fleet of spacecraft and ensuring that mission objectives and SLAs are met.

The missions are diverse, with operations on Rocket Lab's PHOTON satellite bus for customers with diverse payloads and roles. From LEO on-orbit manufacturing to deep space/interplanetary missions, LEO constellation operations, to supporting the commissioning and orbit raising phases to meet our customer’s CONOPS.

The Spacecraft Operations team works closely with related teams, such as spacecraft design, AIT, flight software, Propulsion, GNC, mission design, and SW development to help improve both the ground and satellite-based capabilities over time. The space operations experience at Rocket Lab is unique because you will cover a multitude of roles/positions and responsibilities, with the large majority of the technical products being supplied through the vertical integration/in-house.

Essential skills and experience

  • A Bachelor of Science degree (or greater) in Aerospace Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, or equivalent.
  • 3+ years of experience specifically on aerospace/satellite development programs, which can be anywhere from initial design through on-orbit operations
  • Experience with on orbit satellite operations and ground infrastructure
  • Understanding of key spacecraft subsystems and their associated components, including GNC, avionics, space-ground communications, on-orbit command and data handling, thermal control,
  • Demonstrated success working in a dynamic environment with multiple priorities

Desired Skills

  • Graduate degree in Aerospace Engineering
  • Scripting development (Python/Ruby/… other high-level languages)
  • Exposure to modern development practices – GIT, CI/CD, cloud infrastructure
  • Experience in procedure writing and training/qualification process
  • Understanding of the space environment, flight dynamics
  • Use of hardware-in-the -loop testing

Rocket Lab Employee Benefits

  • The opportunity to work on innovative and ground breaking technology
  • An employee stock purchase program
  • Access to world leading experts to develop your career
  • Unlimited barista coffee, fruit, and snacks
  • Rocket Lab merchandise – T-shirts, mission patches etc.
  • Discounted health insurance with Southern Cross
  • Additional parental leave entitlements
  • A vibrant team culture with social activities throughout the year

If the above sounds like you apply now!

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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