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Senior Mission Manager, Astra Spacecraft Engines



Sunnyvale, CA, USA
Posted on Friday, June 16, 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 Team:
Astra Spacecraft Engine™ (ASE) Mission Management is responsible for the overall customer experience including managing Astra's customer programs, contracts, and coordinating internally and externally all elements of the customer's journey following contract signing through to final delivery

The Opportunity:

  • As a Mission Manager, you will partner with leaders across Astra's engineering, test, production operations, sales, and mission assurance organizations to ensure a successful product delivery for ASE customers. As the primary customer point of contact for ASE, you will be a strong advocate for the customer within Astra and work relentlessly to deliver a delightful customer experience.
  • You will lead the effort to translate customer requirements to clear deliverables, then drive execution on those deliverables to ensure the timely completion of milestones. You will be keyed in closely to our engineering, production, and test schedules, helping to drive progress to meet (and exceed) customer expectations. You will lead technical reviews and periodic program status meetings directly with customers.
  • You will drive the process to define the payload processing/integration plan in conjunction with launch operations and accompany customers to the launch sites for payload integration and launch. You will be the subject matter expert for the program, coordinating (and sometimes generating) both technical and non-technical content such as program status, schedule and technical risks, design summaries, structural and thermal analyses, test data, and hardware readiness.
  • You will also be involved in our business development process, contributing to proposals and generating content in support of potential new customers.
  • As Astra enters this period of growth and scaling, you will be essential in helping us to define a world-class customer experience. You will help us refine our custom and standard product offerings.

How You Will Fulfill Your Mission

  • Plan: serve as the primary point of contact and subject matter expert for each program, which includes owning the development program deliverables
  • Lead: take point on customer status meetings, milestone reviews, and coordinate the creation and delivery of all technical and non-technical content
  • Drive: spearhead the timely execution of all program deliverables, including analyses, procedures, reviews, and reports
  • Influence: serve as a compelling customer advocate and press for creative solutions to development and manufacturing problems in order to keep programs on track
  • Strategize: help us transition from development to high-volume production
  • Empathize: deeply understand customer problems and needs to ensure a delightful customer experience

Why We Value You

  • Your education and professional experience have provided you with a well-rounded balance of engineering acumen, project management expertise, and excellent communication skills.
  • You partner seamlessly with cross-functional teams, like engineering, test, production operations, sales, and mission assurance.
  • You conduct yourself professionally and develop easy relationships with external parties based on your competence, warmth, and trustworthiness.
  • You are a determined self-starter, eager to help define new processes and improve existing ones.
  • You have strong critical-thinking skills combined with the ability to break down complex technical problems into their digestible component parts.
  • You have an attention to detail and a passion for being thorough and organized.
  • You have the professional self-esteem and confidence to "push back" on peers and executives when necessary

Desired Multipliers

  • Familiarity with complex mechanical and/or electrical systems
  • Familiarity with launch vehicles, spacecraft, and propulsion systems
  • Familiarity with orbital mechanics, and space environments
  • Previous experience working with government agencies (NASA, USAF, USSF) and commercial aerospace primes.
  • Willingness to travel up to 20%
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.