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Senior Fluids Engineer, Ground Systems



Alameda, CA, USA
Posted on Tuesday, November 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 Ground System Fluids Team is a group of engineers specializing in fluid systems, component specification, and mechanical design. We develop the fluid systems used to store and load propellants onto the rocket, start the first stage engine, and maintain strict payload environments on the rocket during transport and prior to launch. Our team touches all aspects of system design from the creation of fluid system models, piping and instrumentation diagrams, component specification, and the mechanical implementation of the system. We work with a range of fluids from low and high pressure liquids and gases, cryogenics, and pyrophoric fluids.
Our modular ground system is designed into shipping containers or small enough to fit on a flat bed trailer, ready to be deployed anywhere in the world and assembled in a matter of days.
Ground system hardware is specifically designed to enable a high launch cadence, allowing Astra to lead the way to daily access to space for the first time in human history.
The Opportunity
Come join a multidisciplinary team of engineers and technicians providing industry leading solutions for liquid propulsion launch vehicle ground support equipment. As an engineer on this team you will provide the specification, analysis, design, fabrication/procurement, assembly and test of fluid systems that support the Launch Operations Team. This includes but is not limited to gas and liquid storage and transfer, and all aspects of pad safety/fire suppression. Emphasis on minimizing cost, enabling rapid deployment schedules, efficient in-field operations and ease of maintenance are key to success.
This position goes beyond our immediate team as you will also work closely with the the Ground Structures and Controls, First Stage, Upper Stage, Avionics and Launch Operations Teams.

How You'll Fulfill Your Mission

  • Own entire sub-systems of our ground system, and with minimal oversite help to define requirements and create design solutions from initial concept to detailed solid models and released drawings including document assembly, maintenance, and operation instructions. Report on schedule and budget as required.
  • Design fluidic routing layouts, line-sizing, and source parts for future iterations of the Launcher.
  • Create qualification testing plans for your system and support execution.
  • Collaborate with a cross-disciplinary team of system owners including electrical, mechanical, controls, and software engineers to support launch operations; conduct design reviews and implement feedback/obtain stakeholder buy-in and to verify and document cross-team requirements are satisfied.
  • Proficiency with NX software tools with managing large shared assemblies and the ability to thrive in ambiguity and eager to work in a hands-on paced environment.

Why We Value You

  • Proficiency with NX and PLM software tools with managing large shared assemblies
  • Ability to thrive in ambiguity and eager to work in a hands-on fast fast-paced environment
  • 5+ years of experience demonstrating two or more of the following:
  • Designing, sizing, and specifying equipment for fluid systems
  • Ability to interpret and create Piping and Instrumentation Diagrams (P&IDs)
  • Experience operating/troubleshooting liquid and pneumatic systems (>6000 PSI)
  • Working knowledge of industrial valves, regulators, reliefs, pumps, fittings, and instrumentation
  • 1-D fluid and thermal analysis skills to help predict the performance and size of system

Desired Multipliers

  • Experience with the design and analysis of cryogenic systems
  • Experience with flammable and/or pyrophoric fluids
  • Familiarity with 91-710 Air Force safety standards
  • Experience creating fluid system assemblies using the NX Routing toolbox
  • Experience with FEA thermal and stress analysis
  • Drafting and GD&T for fluid systems
  • Familiarity with ASME B31.3 process piping code
  • Familiarity with AWS D10.18 pipe welding code
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.