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Director, Life Support Systems (ECLSS)



Customer Service
Long Beach, CA, USA
Posted on Friday, September 29, 2023

Vast was founded to expand humanity's frontier into the solar system and beyond. We believe that the next step on that journey is enabling manufacturing and habitation in LEO. We are building artificial gravity space stations to make this a reality. If you want to join a team that builds amazing things with the most talented people on Earth, please reach out.

Vast is looking for a Director of Life Support Systems (ECLSS), reporting to the Senior Director of Haven, to lead the development of the Life Support Systems for our artificial-gravity human-rated space station. This will be a full-time, exempt position located in our Long Beach location.

In this role, you will lead and grow a team of experienced ECLSS engineers to develop novel solutions at the cutting edge of space technology. Our team is developing the necessary hardware to maintain environmental and thermal control as well as support life onboard our artificial-gravity commercial space station. This is a challenging role, as it involves leading a team to design, analyze, test, and manufacture components that are absolutely critical to the safety of future astronauts and passengers.


  • Recruit, retain and empower a diverse team of engineers to develop life support systems including: cabin pressurization, air revitalization, fire suppression, waste handling, and more
  • Lead the department strategy for the design and development of the life support systems for our artificial-gravity space station, from initial design trades to a fully functional and validated system
  • Look at future technologies to close the loop on CO2 removal from cabin breathing air as well as dehumidification and water reclamation
  • Assist in the evaluation and selection of technologies, tools, and third-party partners
  • Iterate on manufacturing processes and development testing in a fast-paced environment
  • Own the project delivery timeline from early design through production, launch, and orbit operations
  • Perform systems engineering tasks and fluid analyses
  • Lead design reviews internally and externally with suppliers and customers
  • Work with interdisciplinary stakeholders to ensure the component will integrate with the necessary avionics, software, and mission operations systems

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's Degree in an engineering or science discipline
  • 10+ years of experience working with fluid or environmental control systems or components
  • 5+ years of experience managing teams

Preferred Skills & Experience:

  • Master's Degree in an engineering discipline
  • Proactive problem-solving skills such as failure analysis, root cause investigation, and design of experiment creation
  • Independent, entrepreneurial self-starter who is comfortable taking on a high level of responsibility
  • Ability to perform trade studies using first principles and engineering fundamentals to make clear recommendations even with partial information
  • Experience with rotating machinery such as fans and pumps
  • Experience with soft goods
  • Experienced in NX
  • Solid understanding and application of geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T) and tolerance stack-up analysis
  • Experience with structural analysis methods (hand calcs, FEMAP, ANSYS) in order to optimize hardware to strength requirements as well as to evaluate for life and fracture
  • Knowledge of metallic and fluid system manufacturing techniques, processes, equipment, and other processes such as machining, welding, brazing, tube bending, etc.

Pay Range:

  • Director of Life Support Systems Level V: $185,000-$220,000
Base salary will vary depending on job-related knowledge, education, skills, experience, business needs, and market demand. Salary is just one component of our comprehensive compensation package. Full-time employees also receive company equity, as well as access to a full suite of compelling benefits and perks, including: 100% medical, dental, and vision coverage for employees and dependents, flexible paid time off for exempt staff and up to 15 days of vacation for non-exempt staff, paid parental leave, short and long-term disability insurance, life insurance, free catered meals and snacks and beverages, access to a 401(k) retirement plan, One Medical membership, ClassPass credits, personalized mental healthcare through Spring Health, and other discounts and perks.


The person hired will have access to information and items subject to U.S. export controls, and therefore, must either be a “U.S. person” as defined by 22 C.F.R. § 120.62 or otherwise eligible for deemed export licensing. This status includes U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, lawful permanent residents (green card holders), and asylees and refugees with such status granted, not pending.
Vast is an Equal Opportunity Employer; employment with Vast is governed on the basis of merit, competence and qualifications and will not be influenced in any manner by race, color, religion, gender, national origin/ethnicity, veteran status, disability status, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, mental or physical disability or any other legally protected status.