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Stratolaunch, LLC Sr. Propulsion Design Engineer in Mojave, California

Stratolaunch is developing an air-launch test platform to contribute to high-speed research and development. The goal of Stratolaunch is to utilize the capabilities of the Stratolaunch Carrier Aircraft and air-launch test vehicles to enable development of technologies that may not exist otherwise. Stratolaunch strives to create technology development opportunities for commercial, philanthropic, and governmental organizations to collect rich and actionable data and drive advancements in science, research, and technology.

To achieve these great efforts, Stratolaunch needs a Senior Propulsion Design Engineer to participate in and lead some aspects of the development and integration activities for the LOX/RP propulsion system into the Stratolaunch launch vehicle. You will be responsible for working with the rocket engine manufacturer, the propellant tank manufacturer, and a variety of other component suppliers to develop and deliver an integrated propulsion system on an aggressive time schedule . This position also supports additional mechanical and fluid system integration across the Stratolaunch architecture, with primary focus on the rocket engine propellant fill, feed, drain, pressurization, and purge functions on the hyper-A vehicle and in the carrier aircraft pylon.

As a Senior Propulsion Design Engineer, you will be responsible for the technical development and qualification of the mechanical and fluid systems involved with rocket propulsion. You are responsible for meeting the technical, cost, and schedule requirements for systems development and qualification. Technical performance responsibilities include meeting design and mission requirements, resolving technical challenges, developing and executing a test program, and evaluating technology upgrades that improve the competitive basis of the Stratolaunch architecture. This position is based in Mojave, CA, with significant travel (20%) to other locations including vendor sites throughout the US. Candidates must have strong aerospace development and operational background, and relevant experience in systems integration and test.

Essential duties and responsibilities:

  • Contribute to the design, test, and integration of the launch vehicle's liquid propulsion system from concept development through flight testing and into commercial operations

  • Lead the development of the propellant management system for the cryogenic (LOX) propellant, including provisions for managing thermal conditioning during ground operations and the captive-carry flight phases.

  • Contribute to the design definition and configuration of the Stratolaunch launch vehicle and its mechanical and fluid interfaces to various mechanical, electrical, structures, and fluid systems within the Stratolaunch architecture

  • Responsible for technical decision making regarding the propulsion system configuration, including defining and leading trade studies

  • Lead the test and qualification plan for propulsion, including definition of the success criteria, test planning, and test execution.

  • Working with the subsystem discipline experts, contribute to the planning and logistics for fluid system integration in Mojave.

  • Responsible for managing the budget for the integrated propulsion system

  • Help resolve technical challenges, as they arise

  • Contribute to launch vehicle integration

  • Regular and comprehensive communication to the department lead on a weekly and monthly basis

  • Contribute to the integration of complex aerospace systems

  • Travel, as needed, to support the company

  • Demonstrate honesty, responsibility, integrity and fulfillment of commitments


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


  • Knowledge of, and experience with, one or more of these disciplines: large aerospace program technical development, rocket propulsion, structures, loads, thrust vector control, hydraulics, pneumatics, cryogenic propellant management, launch vehicle integration, ground systems

  • Experience with rocket engine testing and/or flight test

  • Ability to work on their own initiative and prioritize tasking to fit within the business goals

  • Complex aerospace system development

  • Ability to quickly adapt to changing priorities


  • Experience with Cryogenic rocket propulsion systems

  • Experience with launch vehicle development

  • Experience with large transport aircraft

  • Experience with air-launch programs

  • Security clearance

Required computer skills

  • MS Office (Word, Excel, Outlook)

  • CAD Tools ( Catia or SolidWorks )

  • FEA Tools ( Nastran, FEMAP, Ansys )


  • BS degree in engineering from an accredited institution and 5-plus years of relevant experience

Special remarks regarding work environment

  • Travel estimated to be approximately 20+%

  • Position is based in Mojave, CA

Applicants must be a US citizen or Green Card holder to be considered for this role.

Stratolaunch is an equal opportunity employer that values diversity at our company. We encourage people from all walks of life to apply, without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, protected veteran status, disability or any other characteristic protected by law. Our management team does not tolerate discrimination or harassment at any point during our employees’ and applicants’ time with us, especially with respect to recruitment, hiring, placement, promotion, transfer, training, compensation, benefits, employee activities, and general treatment during employment.

Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law:

Job Category: Engineering