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First Stage Lead

Stoke Space

Stoke Space

Kent, WA, USA
Posted on Friday, January 20, 2023

A thriving economy in space is needed to make life on Earth more vibrant, sustainable, and equitable. Space technology will enable global access to information, solutions to climate change, answers to global food security, products that transform healthcare, clean energy production, and more. Today, rocket launch options are slow, expensive, and unreliable. Stoke is building the world’s most efficient fully and rapidly reusable rocket designed to fly daily that will radically increase access to space and open up the space economy to safeguard our precious home, Earth.


Fully reusable launch vehicles are the key to seamlessly connecting Earth and space. As the Lead Engineer (a.k.a. Responsible Engineer) of the reusable first stage of the Stoke launch vehicle, you will own all aspects of vehicle definition, design, assembly, test, launch, and refurbishment for a 100% reusable rocket designed to fly daily. You will be the chief engineer, project manager, and lead systems engineer for your vehicle. You will lead an integrated product team of propulsion, structural, mechanical, and avionics engineers to realize your vision. You will work closely with the rest of the design, manufacturing, and operations teams through all phases of the product lifecycle. You must be ready to stay focused, move fast, self-direct, and learn on the fly.


  • Define first stage architecture, conceptual design, and vehicle-level requirements in coordination with owners of other portions of the launch system.
  • Manage the definition of vehicle subsystem requirements and interfaces in coordination with subsystem owners.
  • Track vehicle technical performance and risk throughout the design cycle, manage changes to interfaces and requirements, and mediate technical disagreements between subsystems.
  • Define and manage schedule and budget for the vehicle.
  • Manage vehicle assembly and integrated test with support from manufacturing and test engineers.
  • Define the verification plan for vehicle and subsystem requirements and manage its execution.
  • Develop launch operations procedures and vehicle operational limits in coordination with mission operations personnel.
  • Participate in launch operations to make real-time engineering decisions on technical risks


  • Exceptional command of fundamentals
  • Demonstrated experience working on one or more development projects through the full lifecycle, from concept through sustained operations, on an aerospace or similar high-performance product
  • Proficiency working with interdisciplinary technical teams, including mechanical, electrical, and software engineers (team leadership experience preferred)
  • Strong knowledge of systems engineering fundamentals, and ability to apply that knowledge in practical ways to a fast-paced development program
  • Familiarity with launch vehicle design and operations desired (cryogenic propellant familiarity preferred)
  • Ability to lead
  • Ability to follow
  • Excellent written and verbal communication
  • Bachelor’s degree in engineering, project management, or related field


  • Medical, dental, vision and basic life insurance
  • 401(k)
  • Paid time off
  • Flexible scheduling
  • Meaningful equity


Target levels:

  • Level 3 Range: $120,900 - $181,300
  • Level 4 Range: $147,700 - $221,600

Our job posts are intentionally written to attract a wide variety of experience levels, and we make decisions about the right fit on a per-candidate basis.

Your actual level and base salary will be decided based on your specific experience and skill level.

ITAR Requirements

To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, including the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) you must be a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident of the U.S., protected individual as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3), or eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State. Learn more about the ITAR here.