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CNC Machinist



Alameda, CA, USA
Posted on Saturday, October 7, 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
The Machine Shop Team is a highly skilled group of machinists and fabricators that bring our company's designs to life. The team is responsible for taking raw materials to finished form, while observing dimensional requirements and schedule constraints. The goal is always to produce finished parts that are of higher quality, lower cost, and to make them faster than any other shop!
The Opportunity
As a CNC Machinist, your focus is on programming, setting up, and operating CNC lathes and mills, in addition to manual machining, part inspections, and related duties.
This position requires prior experience using CAM software such as Mastercam to program parts of varying complexity. Your experience selecting and setting up tools and workholding is put to the test on a daily basis, as a wide variety of part styles require turning and/or milling operations. A high level of comfort running a 3-axis vertical CNC mill or 2-axis CNC lathe is a must. Part inspection and the use of handheld measurement tools for in-process and final part inspections are an integral part of the job as well.
Strong communication, attention to detail, and willingness to jump into action on any part type are your strong suits, and contribute to your involvement in a large variety of projects.
Your priority, along with the rest of the shop team, is to produce finished parts faster, cheaper, and at higher quality than our vendors. This is a strong individual contributor role that will report directly to the Shop Manager.

How You’ll Fulfill Your Mission

  • Interpret dimensioned part drawings with fluency in order to ensure that the correct machine tools, workholding, and inspection equipment are selected.
  • Program and operate CNC machines. This requires taking a part from start to finish, and includes programming in CAM software (such as Mastercam), calculating feeds and speeds, setting up cutting tools and workholding, proofing programs, loading parts, and breaking down setups when finished.
  • Operate manual metal-cutting machinery such as knee mills, engine and tool room lathes, drill presses, tapping machines, surface grinders, and saws as necessary.
  • Inspect finished or in-process parts using a variety of handheld inspections tools including calipers, micrometers, and hard gauges. Inspections may be done in cooperation with our QC lab.
  • Communicate with other shop, quality control, and engineering personnel in pursuit of a transparent and cooperative atmosphere. Such communication is needed in order to deliver critical feedback to designers and technicians, to ensure proper fitment and handling, or to participate in manufacturability reviews.
  • Improve shop effectiveness by identifying bottlenecks and recurring issues and offering potential solutions. You have an understanding of what continuous improvement looks like, and you leverage your position as Associate Machinist to support that end.

Why We Value You

  • Your 4+ years experience as a CNC machinist have prepared you for this fast-paced shop atmosphere
  • You are very comfortable programming, setting up, and operating CNC mills and lathes for complex parts, and can do so with little to no supervision
  • You have direct machining experience on manual equipment such as a knee mill, manual lathe, or drill press
  • You can calculate feeds and speeds and can solve geometry problems
  • You understand the differences between different types of materials, their grades, their relative machineability, and can identify them quickly
  • You are proficient in thread-cutting and can identify and inspect threads easily
  • You are proficient with measuring instruments including calipers, micrometers, hard gauges, and height gauges
  • You can read shop drawings with fluency, and can communicate the requirements set forth by the drawing to others if requested
  • You can lift 40+lbs, push heavy carts or crates, and can stretch, reach, kneel, or crawl as may be required by certain tasks
  • You can monitor machinery in order to identify necessary maintenance or safety issues
  • You can maintain a clean work area, and can perform your own preventative maintenance
  • Ability to use Excel, Word, and email, and are comfortable using a computer for information retrieval and storage
  • You are comfortable conferring with engineering, supervisory, or manufacturing personnel to exchange technical information
  • Must possess an attention to detail, a sense of urgency, and an optimistic attitude
  • Excellent communication skills, verbal and written

Desired Multipliers

  • 10+ years of hands-on experience as a machinist in a professional shop environment
  • Experience in a high-mix, fast paced job shop
  • Experience writing or editing posts
  • Experience in fabrication, including welding, sheet metal, waterjet, assembly, or finish work
  • Trained in an engineering or design discipline
  • Lean manufacturing certifications
  • Experience with Proto-TRAK, multi-axis machines, palletized HMCs/VMCs, laser cutting, or EDM
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.