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Launch Engineer, Fluid Systems



Software Engineering
Vandenberg Village, CA, USA
Posted on Wednesday, February 14, 2024

SpaceX was founded under the belief that a future where humanity is out exploring the stars is fundamentally more exciting than one where we are not. Today SpaceX is actively developing the technologies to make this possible, with the ultimate goal of enabling human life on Mars.


SpaceX is currently seeking an individual to join the Launch Pad Fabrication Team in Vandenberg. As a member of the Launch Pad Fabrication Team, you will have the opportunity to utilize your multi-disciplinary knowledge, experience, and creativity to develop solutions to Launch Pad Design, Build, & Operations with the goal of maximizing efficiency without sacrificing safety or reliability.

You will be responsible for ensuring all aspects of Launch Pad GSE (ground support equipment) have been properly designed, built, configured, and tested to support Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy interface requirements. During Build Operations, you will be responsible for leading a team of technicians on the pads throughout the build campaign to ensure accurate and timely installation and activation of the pad fluid systems.


  • Serve as the responsible engineer for one or multiple launch pad fluid systems including compressible, incompressible, and/or cryogenic fluid systems
  • Utilize knowledge of heat transfer, thermodynamics, fluid dynamics, controls, and instrumentation to troubleshoot issues present in various launch pad systems
  • Work with, and direct, a skilled technician workforce to carry out design, build, troubleshooting, maintenance activities, upgrades, and operational procedures
  • Contribute to the development and improvement of the functional automation relating to the fluid system(s) for which you are responsible
  • Identify and implement upgrades to launch pad hardware, software, and procedures – drive continuous improvement in these areas by interfacing regularly with various teams across SpaceX
  • Serve as the lead engineer for the pad during design, construction, and activation.
  • Represent SpaceX by presenting certification packages and engineering data to U.S. government agencies including NASA, US Space Force and others


  • Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, aerospace engineering, chemical engineering, physics, computer science, or other engineering discipline
  • 1+ years of professional experience working with fluid, mechanical, or low voltage electrical systems


  • Experience working at a rocket launch/test facility and supporting launch/test campaigns
  • Experience using and troubleshooting control systems for remote operations and instrumentation feedback
  • Experience using CAESAR II or similar pipe stress analysis programs
  • Experience using SOLIDWORKS, Siemens NX, or similar CAD software
  • Experience using python or other programming languages for data review and analysis
  • Experience testing and operating with or around hazardous systems (high pressure, high energy, hazardous gases & fluids, etc.)
  • Familiarity with instrumentation and control components (pressure transducers, thermocouples, RTDs, strain gauges, accelerometers, flow meters, load cells, relays, solenoid, pneumatic valves)
  • Knowledge of engineering standards and best practices such as ASME B31.3, ASME BPV Code Section VIII, and AFSPCMAN 91-710
  • Ability to prioritize and execute tasks in a high-pressure, fast paced environment
  • Strong communication and presentation skills
  • Strong work ethic and drive to for constant improvement balanced with the ability to work effectively in a team environment


  • Ability to pass Air Force background check for Vandenberg Air Force Base
  • Physical effort including standing, lifting and carrying moderately heavy materials or equipment (15 to 35 lbs.)
  • Overall mental fitness with the ability to work in a high-concentration, high-stress environment requiring prolonged mental concentration (under possible extended work hours)
  • Ability to be flexible on shifts
  • Occasional travel may be required


Pay range:
Launch Engineer/Level I: $95,000.00 - $115,000.00/per year
Launch Engineer/Level II: $110,000.00 - $130,000.00/per year

Your actual level and base salary will be determined on a case-by-case basis and may vary based on the following considerations: job-related knowledge and skills, education, and experience.

Base salary is just one part of your total rewards package at SpaceX. You may also be eligible for long-term incentives, in the form of company stock, stock options, or long-term cash awards, as well as potential discretionary bonuses and the ability to purchase additional stock at a discount through an Employee Stock Purchase Plan. You will also receive access to comprehensive medical, vision, and dental coverage, access to a 401(k) retirement plan, short and long-term disability insurance, life insurance, paid parental leave, and various other discounts and perks. You may also accrue 3 weeks of paid vacation and will be eligible for 10 or more paid holidays per year. Exempt employees are eligible for 5 days of sick leave per year.


  • To conform to U.S. Government export regulations, applicant must be a (i) U.S. citizen or national, (ii) U.S. lawful, permanent resident (aka green card holder), (iii) Refugee under 8 U.S.C. § 1157, or (iv) Asylee under 8 U.S.C. § 1158, or be eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State. Learn more about the ITAR here.

SpaceX is an Equal Opportunity Employer; employment with SpaceX 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.

Applicants wishing to view a copy of SpaceX’s Affirmative Action Plan for veterans and individuals with disabilities, or applicants requiring reasonable accommodation to the application/interview process should notify the Human Resources Department at (310) 363-6000.