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Recovery Operations Engineer, Booster Landing Operations



hawthorne, ca, usa
Posted on Thursday, April 27, 2023

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.


This role has the opportunity to work with an elite team to develop and execute the processing operations of a landed Falcon 9 booster. Be the first person to walk up to a just landed booster and lead the team who is responsible for its immediate processing prior to refurbishment and its next flight.


  • Lead operations in the field to safe and process the Falcon 9 booster at either SpaceX Recovery Sites on the West Coast, including the Port of Long Beach and Vandenberg Space Force Base
  • Directly support and lead teams of technicians and crane operators through critical booster lifting and processing operations in the field
  • Develop procedures, test plans, and concept of operations for Falcon 9 booster processing
  • Provide organizational planning for booster recovery operations which includes contracting vendors, creating cost estimates, and developing and improving procedures
  • Drive more efficient operations to improve Falcon 9 recovery cost and hardware health for improved refurbishment timelines
  • Design, build, and test new ground support equipment in support of improving recovery operations
  • Ensure systems are in place to guarantee hardware readiness – including, but not limited to, preventative maintenance, critical spares, and hardware testing
  • Remain synchronized with all recovery operations on both coasts to ensure commonality in both hardware and operations where applicable
  • Interface between Launch Teams, Vehicle Refurbishment, Flight Hardware Logistics and Recovery to improve overall strategies with Falcon 9 Reuse


  • Bachelor's degree in an engineering or science discipline
  • 2+ years of professional work experience working on operations in maritime, aerospace, transportation, manufacturing or production environment


  • 2+ years of hands-on experience building, maintaining, modifying, and operating mechanical/fluids/electrical ground support equipment
  • 5+ years of experience developing and/or processing aerospace systems
  • Experience planning, executing and improving operations involving more than 10 personnel
  • Experience with hazardous chemical/material handling
  • Experience in writing test plans and test procedures
  • Experience with complex, multi-disciplinary system assemblies
  • Past work experience, internships, or projects related to aerospace vehicles/payloads, automotive, aircraft, or marine assemblies
  • Ability to work in fast-paced, high stress environments
  • Ability to work autonomously, prioritize work, and make resource allocation recommendations that involve risk and uncertainty


  • Ability to pass Air Force background check for Cape Canaveral and Vandenberg
  • Position requires a Merchant Mariner credential, which includes pre-employment and random drug testing in accordance with 46 CFR 16 and 49 CFR 40
  • Must be available for all shifts, extended hours, and/or weekends as needed
  • Must be able to lift up to 25 lbs unassisted
  • Must be able to work outdoors and in maritime environments
  • Must be able to support offshore operations, including working recovery missions at sea

Pay range:
Recovery Operations Engineer/Level I: $95,000.00 - $115,000.00/per year
Recovery 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 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.