Launcher Production Manager

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The Company

Astra’s mission is to improve life on Earth from space by creating a healthier and more connected planet. Astra delivered its first commercial payload into Earth orbit in 2021, making it the fastest company in history to reach this milestone, just five years after it was founded in 2016. By achieving monthly, then weekly, then daily launch, we'll create the infrastructure services our customers need in space to build a healthier and more connected planet. If you're excited by a sense of possibility, the chance to innovate, and make a difference here on Earth, we think you should work here too.

The Opportunity

Astra builds nearly all of its rockets in house in a vertically integrated production facility, currently occupying 35% of the facility that will produce rockets at scale.

As the Launcher Production Manager, you will be responsible for producing a major piece of Astra's core product, the world's highest production rate rocket launch system. You will be responsible for growing and managing the organization of technicians and ensuring that each portion of the factory can repeatably and reliably output launchers that will successfully send our rockets on their path to orbit. You will partner at all levels across the organization as part of your normal work. Accurately measuring time and resources will be critical to your ability to scale the team and select portions of the launch system that need redesigns for manufacturability or automation. You will be interacting daily with product and engineering leaders to make critical decisions about the direction of improved versions of the launch system that drive manufacturing/operational complexity and costs down.

Reporting to you will be a team of highly motivated and skilled technicians who have experience in the aerospace, automotive production, racing and other fields required to produce Astra's launch system.

You will report to the VP of Operations and serve as a member of the Operations Team.

How You'll Fulfill Your Mission

  • Build and lead a world class team of builders, technicians and day to day leaders by example. Manage Astra's build processes and hold all technicians and engineers accountable to the high standards you set. Ensure that each member of your team understands how their individual objectives helps your team deliver a quality product on time and budget.  Provide clear feedback to the team and reward success. Empower and coach upcoming production leaders and individual contributors to achieve outsize results through career, skill and personal development. Measure and drive the performance of production teams by designing, implementing, and monitoring OKRs and KPIs; identify risks and seek constant improvement of your teams and the organization as a whole.
  • Partner with the engineering leaders and individual contributors who design the launch system to make sure the product can be built and scaled repeatably and reliably. Help author and edit work instructions, and reinforce your team's involvement in the design process to produce the most manufacturable designs. Work hand-in-hand with those same engineers during initial builds of the launchers. 
  • Design and scale the workspace and factory layout as we increase production rates that support launches up to and beyond a rocket per day. Own the budget and execution plans. Partner with facilities to set up the infrastructure you and your team need to execute. Operate and train employees on the use of manufacturing equipment.
  • Deliver completed launcher systems that leave the factory to head to launch sites with single days of touch time to setup for launch. Document and drive build related issues to closure, and feed root causes and corrective actions back into the design process for fixes in future iterations.
  • Establish a strong culture of ownership, safety and continuous improvement. Keep work areas clean and organized with tools always in their place.

Why We Value You

  • You have leadership experience in an early production, complex product environment
  • You have demonstrated experience with thermal / fluid systems involving valves, tanks, regulators and instrumentation
  • You have a demonstrated track record of strong technical judgement and a bias to action
  • You manage and communicate processes and metrics to enable highly transparent, credible and impactful teams
  • You have the professional maturity and confidence to “push back” with tact when necessary
  • You have expert assembly skills, an ability to read and interpret designs and drawings, and experience with fabrication and assembly tools
  • You are comfortable working in a fast-paced, self-driven entrepreneurial workplace
  • You are an energetic leader with excellent written and oral communication skills and high EQ
  • You are self‐motivated, resilient and assertive with a high willingness to learn
  • You are a great coach, focused on the professional development of your team members and peers
  • You are a good sounding board for others, with low ego

Desired Multipliers

  • Degree in Mechanical, Manufacturing, Industrial Engineering or similar technical field
  • 5+ years of experience leading engineering and/or technician teams
  • Experienced in a medium volume manufacturing environment
  • Experience with checkout & test of integrated systems
  • Previous experience with integrated test or operational equipment
  • Proficient in CAD / PDM / PLM systems

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.


United States, Alameda, CA

Posted 4 months ago

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