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Senior Propulsion Engineer

Orbit Fab

Orbit Fab

Other Engineering
Lafayette, CO, USA
Posted on Wednesday, May 11, 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 engineer at Orbit Fab, 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 planning and design of propellant feed systems for on-orbit shuttles and depots 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 transition into the technical leader for propulsion, thermal and/or fluids.

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


  • Design and procurement of chemical propellant storage, feed, and transfer systems

  • Develop and procure propellant tanks and fluid system components for storable propellants

  • Coordinate with stakeholders to develop ConOps for the end-to-end satellite refueling process, including propulsion system performance for proximity operations, the effects of slosh, and fuel transfer operations procedures.

  • Lead technical reviews and effectively communicate with internal and external stakeholders

  • Lead and own ICD efforts for the propulsion system by working with cross functional teams for ground testing and spacecraft design

  • 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

  • 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).

Experience, Qualifications, and Characteristics

  • 5+ years of experience in design, development, and/or test for spacecraft fluid/propulsion systems or components

  • Experience with storable chemical propellant systems or components

  • Working knowledge of range safety requirements (AFSPCMAN 91-710)

  • Understanding of qualification, acceptance, and protoqualification verification approaches

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

  • Familiarity with spacecraft assembly, integration, and test

  • Experience identifying, communicating and driving requirement definition and discovery for customers

  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal

Nice to Have

  • Experience working with hydrazine

  • Experience fueling spacecraft on the ground

  • Electric propulsion system design experience

  • Experience with applicable industry standards such as SMC-S-016 and AIAA S-080

  • Experience with both low- and high-budget space system development

  • Experience taking a product from concept to operation

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

The estimated salary range for this position is $120,000-140,000

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 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.