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Propulsion/Fluids Engineer

Orbit Fab

Orbit Fab

Lafayette, CO, USA
Posted on Saturday, March 12, 2022

With a vision for a bustling in-space economy that can support permanent jobs in space, Orbit Fab is building the fundamental infrastructure this entire economy can be built upon: a fuel supply in orbit.

Today, satellites cannot be refueled. A single-use paradigm severely limits satellite mobility and holds back the development of economic activities in space. Orbit Fab is building the first Gas Stations in Space™ refueling infrastructure. We develop the supply chain architecture and technology to deliver propellant in space, allowing satellites to be built for lower cost, to be more flexible and maneuverable, to be more precisely controlled, and to operate longer, enabling operations and business models that have never before been imagined..

Established in 2018, we have already flown three tankers to space; with the first one flown within one year of founding. Working closely with partners and customers across the space industry, we are making the thriving in-space economy a reality.


As a Propulsion, Thermal, Fluids engineer on Orbit Fab’s programs, you’ll exercise your first-principals design approach and practical problem solving for complex space systems. We are impressed by people with a breadth of experience developing systems under-budget and on time. Your days will consist of the mechanical design and manufacturing of spacecraft propellant feed systems, valves and other propulsion systems in order to aid the development, testing, and production of Orbit Fab’s technologies to enable an On-Orbit Propellant supply for the 21st century of space innovation. This is not a management position, we want you to spend your time doing the engineering you are passionate about. Over time as the team grows you could grow into the technical leader for propulsion systems, thermal and/or fluids. You bring years of experience, knowledge, and passion to the team in the following disciplines: Mechanical, Manufacturing, Fluids, Thermal, Propulsion and assembly, integration, and test (AIT).

We can't guarantee that you won't turn wrenches and tick checklists, because even our CEO turns wrenches and ticks checklists when needed. But you will learn from great engineers, you will share your own knowledge and insights with great engineers, and your contribution will make a difference.


  • Spacecraft fluid systems design including propellant storage, feed and transfer systems for both chemical and electric propulsion

  • Concept of Operations development for the end-to-end satellite refueling process, including 'docking mission' design, development, and flight operations

  • Model, develop, assemble and flight qualify tanks, valves, and integrated fluid systems for supercritical fluids such as xenon, liquid monopropellants, and highly corrosive oxidizers

  • Define, review, critique and document the company's product manufacturing / quality assurance processes

  • Lead technical reviews and give effective presentations to internal and external stakeholders

  • Identify technical issues and proactively implement resolutions to mitigate schedule and cost impacts

  • Provide SME input in the development of systems engineering products, spacecraft architecture, trade studies, requirements development, verification, and validation plans

  • Contribute technical knowledge around your areas of expertise to proposal development and writing

Experience, Qualifications, and Characteristics

  • 2+ years of experience in spacecraft fluid or propulsion system design, development, test, and operations, preferably across multiple flight projects/programs

  • Ability to work independently and take on own tasks, including 'blank page engineering' and engineering from first principals.

  • Experience taking a product from concept phase through prototyping, launch, and operation

  • Working knowledge of in-space propulsion, thermal and fluids, including high pressure/temperature systems; mechanisms and structures including valves and seals; and spacecraft feed systems

  • Working knowledge of industry standards applicable to fluid systems such as ASME, AWS, as well as federal regulations including CFR, ANSI, OSHA, Air Force (AFSPCMAN 91-710) and/or NASA Range Safety requirement sets

  • Working knowledge of thermal fluids analysis and modeling methods

  • Understanding of spacecraft assembly, integration, and test procedures

  • Familiarity with of the spacecraft component supply chain and contacts or relationships with vendors cross the supply chain

  • Experience defining customer needs and crafting engineering requirements, including a proven ability to successfully push back on unnecessary or mission affecting customer requirements

  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal. Ability to act as a thought leader, communicating your area of expertise to external interests including customers, competitors, suppliers, and other stakeholders

  • Ability to travel (5% to 10% time expected), including international travel as needed (Pending COVID resolution).

Nice to Have

  • 5+ years of experience in satellite design, development, test, and operations

  • Experience with both low and high budget space system development

  • Experience with spacecraft and subsystem environment definition (radiation, structural loads, thermal, EMI/EMC, orbital debris, etc.) and design approaches (at LEO, GEO, and beyond).

  • Demonstrated ability to build Spacecraft propulsion systems and high pressure systems in compliance to Range Safety requirements

  • Experience with human spaceflight systems (i.e ISS ECLSS, ATCS)

  • Experience with spacecraft and spacecraft subsystem fabrication, assembly, and test; understanding of qualification, acceptance, and proto-flight verification approaches

The estimated salary range for this position is $100,000-120,000

If you feel you would succeed in the role above, we encourage you to apply regardless of whether or not you meet all of the requirements listed.

Location and Benefits

Orbit Fab is based out of Lafayette, Colorado and all roles are based in Colorado. We offer fully covered benefits, unlimited time off and flexible work hours.


To conform to US Government space technology export regulations, applicants must be a US citizen, lawful permanent resident of the US, protected individual as defined by 8 USC 1324b(a)(3), or eligible to obtain the required authorization from the US Department of State.

Orbit Fab Inc does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.