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Chief Mission Engineer

Terran Orbital Corporation

Terran Orbital Corporation

Irvine, CA, USA
Posted on Saturday, May 18, 2024


Terran Orbital is seeking an experienced Chief Mission Engineer to join our growing team. Reporting to the Director of Systems Engineerinng, the Chief Mission Engineer will manage multiple discipline roles involving mission responsibility and authority for Design, Analysis, Manufacturing, Verification, Validation, and Operations. Chief Mission Engineers are recognized at Terran Orbital for broad industry technical achievements and expertise in a subdiscipline, product line, or mission space of key technical importance to the company. You will guide strategic technical decisions, resolving key technical challenges of importance to the company and provide leadership in mentoring, training and leading technical designs. You will architect key elements for technology roadmaps for mission capabilities, system functional behavior and system performance supporting innovative, high capability, high reliability products and programs.

Key Duties and Responsibilities

  • Lead all aspects of developing a space product that may impact multiple missions and programs – from direct customer engagement that drives technical approaches to deriving requirements and architectures for mission capability needs
  • Chair Non-Advocate Reviews for Projects, Programs, and Missions to ensure business, customer, program, and supplier success
  • Designing and developing optimal space vehicle architectures and detailed mission solutions to complex space domain challenges for various remote sensing, RF, and optical applications
  • Leading and participating in technical discussions with customers and suppliers to ensure mission success
  • Develop engineering artifacts and tools that support interoperability with flexible and state-of-the-art architectures
  • Establishing Lifecycle Best Practices, Frameworks, Guidelines, and Processes are executed
  • Performing capabilities benchmarking and competitiveness assessment
  • Performing mission roadmaps and technology vision/strategy synthesis, insertion, deployment, and overall capability monitoring and management
  • Utilizing Subject Matter Expertise and applying surge support for the troubleshooting of focus areas
  • Ensuring knowledge capture and knowledge transfer by working with and mentoring engineering members
  • Engaging and supporting company tactical and strategic special projects
  • Mission Concept of Operations refinement, mapping, and application
  • Requirements generation, derivation, decomposition, and mapping
  • Configurations and change management
  • Logical and Physical Architecture definitions and interface management
  • System-level design activities to include state-machines, orbital dynamics, and communication architectures
  • System Integration, Verification, and Validation definition and execution
  • Mission Operations and systems tasking

Qualification and Skills

  • Master’s degree in engineering or physical sciences
  • 15+ years of experience as a technical leader of multifunctional teams within space-domain missions
  • Demonstrate a proven track record of applying successful expertise to sophisticated missions
  • Demonstrate ability to make complex critical decisions promptly
  • Demonstrate experience and success with one or more of the technical areas listed above
  • Experience leading complex initiatives, with a proven track record of collaboration and coordination across internal and external stakeholder organizations
  • Experience with risk, issue, and opportunity management
  • Proven ability to deliver effective communication verbally, written, and through well-crafted presentations across all levels of an organization, including executive leadership
  • Ability to self-govern with minimal supervision, establish workload priorities, and utilize efficient time management practices to achieve programmatic or strategic initiatives

Additional Differentiators

  • Demonstrate experience and success with technical leadership of launched or operational space domain systems
  • Experience and success with space-based encrypted communications architectures and devices, as well as knowledge of standards for geospatial intelligence data and products
  • Demonstrate experience and success with space-based remote sensing missions, including Optical or RF systems
  • Experience and success with space-based reliability, availability, maintainability, and safety
  • Experience and success with rendezvous proximity operations and docking
  • Familiarity with satellite system budgets, including mass, power, delta-V, link, and data budgets


  • 100% Company-paid comprehensive medical, dental, and vision coverage for you and your dependents
  • Employee Equity Incentive Program
  • 401(k) Match
  • Unlimited PTO
  • Cross-training and professional development opportunities

Salary Range $250,000-320,000

Your actual level and base salary will be determined case-by-case and may vary based on the job-related qualification, knowledge, skills, education, and experience. In addition to base salary, we offer equity for each employee, 100% covered medical, dental, and vision coverage, a 401(k) match, unlimited flex time off, covered life insurance, maternity and paternity leave, tuition reimbursement, employee referrals, and lots of swag!

About Terran Orbital

Terran Orbital is a leading manufacturer of satellite products primarily serving the aerospace and defense industries. Terran Orbital provides end-to-end satellite solutions by combining satellite design, production, launch planning, mission operations, and on-orbit support to meet the needs of the most demanding military, civil, and commercial customers. Learn more at www.terranorbital.com

Physical Demands

An employee must meet the physical demands described to perform the essential functions of this job successfully. In performing the duties of this job, the employee is routinely required to sit or stand for long durations of time, in addition to bending, reaching, and walking. This would require the ability to lift or move objects up to 10 pounds and occasionally lift or move objects up to 25 pounds. This position is generally sedentary, with substantial computer usage.

Work Environment

The job operates in a professional office environment but in a manufacturing company. This job routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, photocopiers, and scanners.


To comply with US Government space technology export regulations, the applicant 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 authorizations from the US Department of State. In addition, please note that this position may require a current United States National Security clearance or eligibility for such a clearance.

Terran Orbital is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. We consider applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, national origin, ancestry, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status, disability, genetic information, or membership in any other group protected by federal, state, or local law.

If you need assistance or accommodation due to a disability, you may contact us at [email protected].