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Mission Operations Engineer (Starshield)



hawthorne, ca, usa
Posted on Friday, March 29, 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.


Starshield leverages SpaceX’s Starlink technology and launch capability to support national security efforts. While Starlink is designed for consumer and commercial use, Starshield is designed for government use, with an initial focus on earth observation, communications, and hosted payloads.

As a member of our Starshield mission management team, you will serve as a core point of contact for customers during satellite operations on a novel product. You'll work directly with disciplines across SpaceX such as guidance, navigation and control; operations and automation; hardware and software to collaboratively develop methodical procedures for complicated operations. Through your cross-disciplinary work, you'll develop expertise in these technical topics yourself. Our team is responsible for ensuring overall mission success for our government customers. Aerospace experience is not required to be successful here - we want our engineers to bring fresh ideas from all areas. We look for engineers who love solving problems and seek to make an impact on an inspiring mission. As we expand our team, we're looking for versatile, motivated, and collaborative engineers.

Mission operations require a rigorous technical understanding of the system, attention to detail, and a deep understanding of customer needs. You will be responsible for overall mission success and for making the world a safer place.


  • Enable U.S. government missions through operations and maintenance of SpaceX ground and space systems
  • Make technically backed risk assessments and act on those assessments in an operational environment with incomplete information
  • Work with internal and external stakeholders to drive operations development. Collaborate with subsystem representatives across team boundaries to consider all necessary trades and ensure end-to-end mission success
  • Develop mission plans, operational procedures, and other real-time products for Starshield missions in coordination with SpaceX responsible engineers
  • Develop, champion, and lead special projects to advance the state of SpaceX operations
  • Serve as the customer interface for satellite and ground system operations


  • Bachelor’s degree in science, technology, engineering, or math; OR 2+ years of experience in engineering test, integration, or flight operations (industry internships and project teams qualify)
  • 2+ years of experience in technical project management and/or systems engineering (industry internships and project teams qualify)


  • Demonstrated ability to work under pressure and deliver reliable and expeditious results across multiple parallel priorities
  • Highly detail oriented, hardworking, and professional with excellent written and verbal technical communication skills
  • Strong penchant for innovation in process improvement and system design
  • Positive, “can-do” attitude, self-starter, and ability to work in a high pace, dynamic environment
  • Real time operations experience on a system that has high consequences in the event of failure
  • Previous experience in a customer-facing role working through design requirements, test acceptance, verification, and operations
  • Experience with U.S. government operations and planning practices, or intelligence analytics processes
  • Previous experience in one or more of the following fields:
    • Avionics
    • Software systems and networks
    • Orbital mechanics
    • Communication systems
    • Orbit and attitude dynamics


  • Active Top Secret or Top Secret SCI clearance preferred. Must be willing to pursue a clearance if not already cleared. Note that an active clearance may provide the opportunity for you to work on sensitive SpaceX missions. If so, you will be subject to pre-employment drug and random drug and alcohol testing
  • Must pass DoD level background checks for entry into various government facilities
  • Ability to travel up to 25% of the time
  • Flexibility required including night shift and weekend work when necessary to support operations and critical project timelines


Pay Range:

Mission Operations Engineer/Level I: $95,000.00 - $115,000.00/per year.

Mission Operations 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 & long-term disability insurance, life insurance, paid parental leave, and various other discounts and perks. You may also accrue 3 weeks of paid vacation & 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.