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Manufacturing Engineer, Flight Termination System (Starship)



hawthorne, ca, usa
Posted on Friday, March 22, 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 member of the Flight Termination System team, you will have the exciting opportunity to be responsible for the manufacturing of the Starship Flight Termination System hardware! You will demonstrate extreme ownership of hardware and test systems through deep understanding of the functionality, design, and requirements from concept to delivery of hardware. You will have ownership over the entire manufacturing process of Flight Safety System hardware including production facility layout, PCBA production, electromechanical assembly, live ordnance assembly, and environmental testing. As an extreme owner you will be responsible for interfacing with regulatory partners to implement, tailor, and challenge space industry regulatory requirements to achieve the best outcomes. Our development timelines are aggressive and the Flight Termination System is one of the few safety critical systems on the vehicle. The manufacturing and testing of the hardware that makes up the FTS requires extremely high levels of rigor and you will solve very challenging problems at the intersection of safety critical hardware and high explosives.


  • Design, develop, and implement highly reliable electronics and hardware manufacturing systems and processes for the Starship program
  • Implement, simplify, and automate high-reliability manufacturing processes such that the production teams can operate independently of engineering and deliver highly reliable products
  • Prepare engineering documentation necessary for the transition from development to production including assembly procedures, test procedures, standard operating procedures, schematic diagrams, bills of materials, suitable alternate parts lists and mechanical drawings
  • Write automation software in Python to interact with units under test, test equipment, instrumentation, and production documentation systems
  • Manage and tailor requirements with regulatory agencies for production of the Starship Flight Termination System hardware
  • Prepare and present manufacturing system trades, manufacturing readiness reviews, and root cause investigations of product acceptance test failures to achieve high first pass yield
  • Work with experts from other teams and departments to drive changes that make the system more efficient, more manufacturable, and more reliable. Challenge assumptions and build strong professional relationships


  • Bachelor's degree in an engineering discipline
  • 1+ year of experience in design, manufacturing, and/or production of mechanical or electrical hardware systems (internships and project teams qualify)


  • 3+ years of professional experience in design and/or production of mechanical or electronic hardware systems
  • Experience with automating hardware test systems in production environments
  • Experience modeling with 3D CAD software such as: NX/Unigraphics, Catia, SOLIDWORKS
  • Working proficiency with DFMEA and PFMEA methodology and implementation
  • Experience with test equipment and measurement techniques to verify and validate product requirements
  • Basic competency with SQL databases
  • Experience with PCBA, electromechanical assembly, and test processes
  • Hands-on engineer with a passion for continuous improvement and building the best hardware
  • Demonstrated experience designing tooling in a manufacturing environment
  • Experience with high-voltage devices
  • Strong cross-functional project management skills and the ability to collaborate with other engineering disciplines
  • Excellent presentation, communication, and documentation skills


  • Available to work long hours and weekends as needed
  • Travel to vendors and other SpaceX sites as needed (< 25%)


Pay range:
Manufacturing Engineer/Level 1: $95,000.00 - $115,000.00/per year
Manufacturing Engineer/Level 2: $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.


  • 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.