Propulsion, Thermal, Fluids Engineer

Company Details

Gas Stations in Space™

Currently satellites carry with them one tank of fuel and cannot be refueled. This single-use architecture greatly limits satellite mobility and the development of economic activities in Space. Orbit Fab is working to establish the first Gas Stations in Space. We are developing the refueling technology and the entire fuel supply chain architecture. We supply fuel in space for satellites to refuel and to continue operating without having to worry about running out of fuel.

Established in 2018, we have already flown three tankers to space; with the first one flown within one year of founding. We work closely with partners and customers in the larger space industry ecosystem to make thriving in-space economy a reality.

As a Propulsion, Thermal, Fluids engineer on Orbit Fab’s programs, you’ll exercise your first-principals design approach and practical problem solving for complex space systems. We are impressed by people with a breadth of experience developing systems under-budget and on time. Your days will consist of the mechanical design and manufacturing of spacecraft propellant feed systems, valves and other propulsion systems in order to aid the development, testing, and production of Orbit Fab’s technologies to enable an On-Orbit Propellant supply for the 21st century of space innovation. This is not a management position, we want you to spend your time doing the engineering you are passionate about. Over time as the team grows you could grow into the technical leader for propulsion systems, thermal and/or fluids. You bring years of experience, knowledge, and passion to the team in the following disciplines: Mechanical, Manufacturing, Fluids, Thermal, Propulsion and assembly, integration, and test (AIT).

We can’t guarantee that you won’t turn wrenches and tick checklists, because even our CEO turns wrenches and ticks checklists when needed. But you will learn from great engineers, you will share your own knowledge and insights with great engineers, and your contribution will make a difference.


  • Spacecraft fluid systems design including propellant storage, feed and transfer systems for both chemical and electric propulsion
  • Concept of Operations development for the end-to-end satellite refueling process, including ‘docking mission’ design, development, and flight operations
  • Model, develop, assemble and flight qualify tanks, valves, and integrated fluid systems for supercritical fluids such as xenon, liquid monopropellants, and highly corrosive oxidizers
  • Define, review, critique and document the company’s product manufacturing / quality assurance processes
  • Lead technical reviews and give effective presentations to internal and external stakeholders
  • Identify technical issues and proactively implement resolutions to mitigate schedule and cost impacts
  • Provide SME input in the development of systems engineering products, spacecraft architecture, trade studies, requirements development, verification, and validation plans
  • Contribute technical knowledge around your areas of expertise to proposal development and writin

Experience, Qualifications, and Characteristics

  • 5+ years of experience in spacecraft fluid or propulsion system design, development, test, and operations, preferably across multiple flight projects/programs
  • Ability to work independently and take on own tasks, including ‘blank page engineering’ and engineering from first principals.
  • Experience taking a product from concept phase through prototyping, launch, and operation
  • Working knowledge of in-space propulsion, thermal and fluids, including high pressure/temperature systems; mechanisms and structures including valves and seals; and spacecraft feed systems
  • Working knowledge of industry standards applicable to fluid systems such as ASME, AWS, as well as federal regulations including CFR, ANSI, OSHA, Air Force (AFSPCMAN 91-710) and/or NASA Range
  • Safety requirement sets
  • Working knowledge of thermal fluids analysis and modeling methods
  • Understanding of spacecraft assembly, integration, and test procedures
  • Familiarity with of the spacecraft component supply chain and contacts or relationships with vendors cross the supply chain
  • Experience defining customer needs and crafting engineering requirements, including a proven ability to successfully push back on unnecessary or mission affecting customer requirements
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal. Ability to act as a thought leader, communicating your area of expertise to external interests including customers, competitors, suppliers, and other stakeholders
    Ability to travel (5% to 10% time expected), including international travel as needed (Pending COVID resolution).

Nice to Have

  • 10+ years of experience in satellite design, development, test, and operations
  • Experience with both low and high budget space system development
  • Experience with spacecraft and subsystem environment definition (radiation, structural loads, thermal, EMI/EMC, orbital debris, etc.) and design approaches (at LEO, GEO, and beyond).
  • Demonstrated ability to build Spacecraft propulsion systems and high pressure systems in compliance to Range Safety requirements
  • Experience with human spaceflight systems (i.e ISS ECLSS, ATCS)
  • Experience with spacecraft and spacecraft subsystem fabrication, assembly, and test; understanding of qualification, acceptance, and proto-flight verification approaches

Tagged as: iss eclss, atcs, GEO, LEO

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