Loft Orbital

26 - 50 Employees
26 - 50 Engineers
$10M - $25M Funding
Series A

Loft Orbital offers satellite as a service. We operate a rideshare service in space, where we fly multiple customer sensors on washing machine sized-satellites. Our mission is to make space simple for our customers, so they can focus on what really matters to them: collecting and analyzing data.

We are building the world's first fully autonomous satellite operations system that can control any sensor on any Loft satellite, and we are rapidly scaling this team!

Loft Orbital photo 1 Loft Orbital photo 2 Loft Orbital photo 3

Why join us?
  • Your code, in space.

    At Loft, you will be building a system, called Cockpit, that enables fully autonomous satellite operations. Cockpit is an engine that that takes basic requests from customers and simulates, validates, and schedules a detailed control plan that is beamed up to the satellite - all in near-real time.

    Cockpit turns what used to be a massive team of engineers in a mission control center into a piece of software that any customer can easily operate. We've architected Cockpit to be completely generic, meaning that it can interface with any kind of sensor, flying on any satellite bus.

    There is no system like this on the market (trust us, we've looked), so we decided to build it ourselves.

  • Customers that matter.

    Our customers - to name a few - are monitoring methane emissions from gas pipelines, tracking remote equipment for fortune 500 companies, breaking new ground in fundamental science, and collecting unprecedented knowledge about Earth's atmosphere to help make weather prediction more accurate. We even have a customer doing blockchain in space (seriously).

    These customers are businesses or governments that are using space to collect information about Earth, and Loft Orbital is the platform that flies and operates them.

  • A rapidly scaling business.

    Loft flipped the switch on commercial sales in 2019 and quickly grew from $0 to multiple millions in revenue in a year. 2020 is already off to a fast start,.

    We have four satellite missions currently manifested for launch - two in 2020 and two in 2021 (so far...). More missions means that we need to rapidly grow our team to accommodate the demand and build out Cockpit to operate a full fleet of satellites.

  • Max ownership.

    We believe in hiring the best people, empowering them to own their work, and standing back to let magic happen. At Loft, you'll be on a small, scrappy team and be entrusted with a lot of responsibility from the get go.


Engineering at Loft Orbital
Engineering team and processes

Our engineering organization is divided between Satellite Mission Engineering and Product Development.

The Mission Engineering side manages each satellite mission, from capturing the customers initial requirements to assembly and test of our spacecraft.

The Product development team is developing flight and ground software used to fly satellites and interface with our customers sensors. Loft approach is to develop a set of standard products that we use on each mission - this is how we deliver our customers to orbit quickly and avoid the elongated timelines of more custom satellite missions.

We have three products that each have a team lead and a small team under them. Currently, we are hiring the most actively for Cockpit, software used for autonomous satellite operations.

Technical Challenges

The core challenge of Cockpit is to fly and control tens - and one day hundreds - of satellites with a single piece of software. Loft uses multiple satellite vendors and there can be up to five payloads on each mission, and Cockpit is designed to be agnostic to all of them.

Cockpit receives high level requests from the customer (e.g. 'take a picture of San Francisco') and turns that into a schedule of low level commands that are sent to the satellite. To arrive at this schedule requires aggregating requests from all onboard customers, simulating the satellite's orbit, and modeling the allocation of spacecraft resources (e.g. power) to arrive at the optimal operational scenario.

Tech stack
Python
Google Cloud Platform

Working at Loft Orbital

Loft has a unique culture that is down-to-earth, hardworking, and scrappy, where every employee takes an immense amount of pride in their finished product. We are transparent and open in internal communication and feedback, and live by the famous broccoli principle (If I have broccoli in my teeth, I want you to tell me immediately).

As a company, we have two missions: (1) Make space simple for our customers and (2) be the most fulfilling job our employees ever have.

For us, fulfilling to us means that we treat our employees with respect and always keep their best interests front and center. Fulfilling also means that the technical challenges are hard and people are empowered to solve them. We want to build a company where three years of working at Loft is worth 10 years at any other company.

401(k) Contribution

We offer a low-fee 401k program for you to invest pre-tax savings.

Beautiful Office

We are located at 5th and Bryant, and while our office isn't traditional beautiful, it has a massive rooftop and a funky design that reflects our character. Our bottom floor office has a full clean room and lab where we integrate and test flight hardware.

Health Insurance

We offer best-in-class health insurance for companies of our stage.

Team Activities

Monthly BBQs, quarterly activities and outings, and near-weekly impromptu pilgrimages to the neighborhood bar, Hotel Utah. Not to mention open parties on our roof and tons of space industry events. We get good usage out of our office.

Relocation

If you are relocating to the Bay Area, we will offer financial support.


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