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Sr. Flight Reliability Engineer (Dragon)



hawthorne, ca, usa
Posted on Thursday, March 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.


As a Dragon Flight Reliability Engineer, you will directly impact the Dragon vehicles that supply critical science, supplies, and crew to the International Space Station. The Flight Reliability team coordinates launch readiness of all vehicles and verifies that the vehicle, software, and operations teams are prepared to fly. During and after the mission, the Flight Reliability team owns any anomaly investigations and drives continuous improvement by incorporating lessons learned from previous flights.


  • Responsible for assessing pre-flight risks and potential mitigations with vehicle design, analysis, and operations teams, as well as communicating these risks to engineering leadership and NASA
  • Lead pre-flight readiness reviews during launch campaigns to verify all pre-flight risks are mitigated appropriately, launch site issues are dispositioned and verified, and critical pre-flight testing and review activities are completed
  • During flight, support mission operations to investigate observations or anomalies and make clear recommendations to engineering leadership and mission operators for real-time or future actions
  • Work with design and analysis groups after missions to review data, anomalies and observations
  • Lead root cause investigations of significant in-flight anomalies and drive corrective actions
  • Communicate the overall performance of the vehicle relative to the mission objectives to internal and external customers
  • Work with design and build reliability organization to implement lessons learned to improve the SpaceX development process, as well as review vehicle design and operations concepts for future applications


  • Bachelor's degree in an engineering discipline
  • 5+ years of experience in a manufacturing, quality and/or design engineering role


  • Master's degree in an engineering related field
  • Experience with multi-system engineering design
  • Programming experience in MATLAB, JavaScript, Python, C or SQL
  • Ability to perform trade studies using first principals and engineering fundamentals to assess risk and make clear recommendations with rationale even with partial information
  • Demonstrated capability solving complex problems on schedule as an individual or as a member of an integrated team
  • CAD experience (NX/Unigraphics preferred)
  • Experience designing/operating and building robotic systems
  • Knowledge of and experience in analog to digital and digital to analog converters, power supply components and design, analog. testing/troubleshooting techniques, layout and grounding principles
  • Familiarity with common engineering materials properties (strength, life, thermal, compatibility etc.) including metals and soft goods
  • Familiarity with common aerospace instrumentation (e.g. pressure transducers / RTD’s)
  • Knowledge of quality tools such as Lean principles, Six Sigma, Root Cause Analysis and Corrective Action, Metrology, and Process Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (PFMEA)
  • Knowledge of relevant aerospace design and test specifications, such as SMC-S-016, NASA-STD-5009, AIAA-S-080, and NASA-STD-5017
  • Ability and willingness to put in extra time to mentor other engineers while also being a significant individual contributor
  • Passion for advancing the commercial space industry and human spaceflight
  • Able to work well in an integrated collaborative team environment, including frequent interactions with technicians, other engineers, and managers
  • Dedicated to adopting a Lean approach to quality without compromising safety or reliability
  • Highly self-motivated with strong organizational skills – able to prioritize and execute tasks in a high-pressure environment with ongoing drive for continuous improvement in all aspects of work
  • Excellent communication skills and ability to succinctly present recommendations to stakeholders, the customer, and management


  • Ability to travel to remote launch & test sites in Texas and Florida when required
  • Ability to work extended hours and weekends as business needs dictate


Pay range:

Sr. Flight Reliability Engineer: $125,000.00 - $175,000.00/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.