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Electric Propulsion Test Engineer



Quality Assurance
Sunnyvale, CA, USA
Posted on Tuesday, January 10, 2023
The Company
Astra’s mission is to Improve Life on Earth from Space® by creating a healthier and more connected planet. Today, Astra offers one of the lowest cost-per-launch dedicated orbital launch services of any operational launch provider in the world, and one of the industry’s first flight-proven electric propulsion systems for satellites, Astra Spacecraft Engine™. Astra delivered its first commercial launch to low Earth orbit in 2021, making it the fastest company in history to reach this milestone, just five years after it was founded in 2016. Astra (NASDAQ: ASTR) was the first space launch company to be publicly traded on Nasdaq.
The Opportunity
As a Test Engineer for Electric Propulsion, your role will be to put Hall-effect Thruster development and production test facilities into service for both R&D and production. You will work with an interdisciplinary team of mechanical engineers, propulsion engineers, machinists, electrical engineers, and technicians to bring designs to life. New programs come in frequently. You will be a primary contributor on a team that develops new systems/modules and launches them into orbit.

How You'll Fulfill Your Mission

  • Perform tests on plasma thrusters, power electronics, and hardware-in-the-loop electrical systems
  • Maintain and upgrade state-of-the-art Hall thruster test stands and data acquisition systems
  • Fabricate and assemble test fixtures from CAD, drawings, and electrical schematics. Integrate devices under test with data acquisition hardware and software
  • Troubleshoot electrical and mechanical test setups and hardware
  • Generate proper documentation associated with both development and production: test procedures, test reports, standard operating procedures, etc.
  • Write and maintain production test software (LabVIEW and Python)
  • Mentor early career engineers


  • 5+ years of hands-on fabrication, assembly, and/or testing experience that includes hardware/software integration
  • You have experience reading schematics and assembling or repairing wiring harnesses
  • You have experience with bench test equipment (digital multimeters, power supplies, oscilloscopes, current/voltage probes, etc.)
  • Experience with Python Experience with LabVIEW and National Instruments hardware, including data acquisition systems.
  • You are excited to work on a team that launches hardware into space!
  • B.S. or higher in electrical/electronics technology, and/or equivalent with experience in an industrial laboratory environment

Desired Multipliers

  • Familiarity with space systems
  • Familiarity with vacuum systems
  • Experience with soldering and crimping wiring harnesses, and ideally PCBA repair
  • Self-guidance and the ability to interpret test results and design new tests
  • The desire and willingness to suggest design improvements based on test results, and to take ownership of your work -- this will be YOUR hardware going to space!
ITAR Requirements: This position requires compliance with U.S. Government space technology trade restrictions, specifically the International Trafficking in Arms Regulations (ITAR), Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and additional regulations governing satellite, launch vehicle, missile, and other related technologies. All jobs restricted by these regulations will be contingent upon the applicant’s status as a documented U.S. Person or their ability to receive a trade license from the cognizant government agency; in addition to any required company background checks and in compliance with applicable U.S. and California laws. Similarly, positions requiring the ability to work on government contracts or a security clearance are also contingent upon the applicants ability to receive the appropriate clearance and be allowed to work on U.S. government contracts.
You do not need to match every listed expectation to apply for this position. Here at Astra, we know that diverse perspectives foster the innovation we need to be successful, and we are committed to building a team that encompasses a variety of backgrounds, experiences, and skills.
San Francisco Applicants: Astra will consider applicants with arrest and conviction records (criminal histories) in a manner consistent with the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance.