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Sr. Mechanical Engineer (Starlink)



Other Engineering
Redmond, WA, USA
Posted on Friday, May 10, 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.


At SpaceX we’re leveraging our experience in building rockets and spacecraft to deploy Starlink, the world’s most advanced broadband internet system. Starlink is the world’s largest satellite constellation and is providing fast, reliable internet to 2M+ users worldwide. We design, build, test, and operate all parts of the system – thousands of satellites, consumer antennae that allow users to connect within minutes of unboxing, and the software that brings it all together. We’ve only begun to scratch the surface of Starlink’s potential global impact and are looking for best-in-class engineers to help maximize Starlink’s utility for communities and businesses around the globe.

As a Senior Starlink Mechanical Engineer, you will own complex hardware from cradle to grave and will interact regularly with senior leadership during critical design phases, ushering in the next era of internet and delivering internet to those that need it most. There are several sub-teams within the larger Starlink mechanical engineering group in our Redmond facility, each with different focus areas. All applicants will be considered broadly for all teams and then matched to a specific team after factoring in best technical fit and candidate preference. Sub teams include:

  • Space Lasers – Advanced optical/laser systems that allow for inter-satellite communication at the speed of light
  • Solar & Battery – Grid-scale solar and automotive-scale battery systems which power our satellites in orbit
  • Electric Propulsion – A small but mighty krypton-powered propulsion system that enables our satellites to reach the correct orbit and make orbital adjustments on command
  • Payload – Solving the complex structural, thermal and mechanical problems at the heart of Starlink’s service
  • Bus – Satellite structures, avionics packaging, and a wide variety of spacecraft mechanisms
  • Aviation – Starlink on planes! Imagine truly fast internet mid flight
  • Enterprise & Government - Best in class solutions for large scale customer operations
  • Gateway – Robust communication stations deployed in countries throughout the world
  • Tooling – Robotic and semi-automatic production lines that allow us to build hundreds of satellites every month
  • Harness - Electro-mechanical design of wire harnesses within our family of Starlink satellites and/or gateway antennas
  • Test Automation - Fixtures, mechanisms, fluid systems and other types of hardware to support safe, efficient, and reliable testing of Starlink satellite components


  • Own hardware from conceptual design through high volume production and on-orbit operation for the Starlink constellation
  • Develop design criteria, collaborate on requirements, and drive system-level optimization
  • Rapidly iterate on designs and analysis to inform high level systems trades and steer overall product direction
  • Drive holistic DFM to create elegant designs with a focus on piece part and process count reductions, error proofing at every step of fabrication and integration, and consistent performance and production metrics
  • Establish an efficient product lifecycle starting in the supply chain all the way through final integration that balances cost, complexity, and quality; work closely with partner teams to design and realize an efficient in-house production line
  • Perform environmental and performance testing on hardware to validate analysis and demonstrate compliance to design criteria
  • Own product delivery timeline through conception, design, assembly, and launch
  • Demonstrate extreme ownership of product outcomes at every stage of development and production


  • Bachelor's degree in an engineering discipline
  • Experience with CAD and FEA software packages
  • 5+ years of experience with mechanical/electromechanical design, analysis, testing, and/or manufacturing


  • Master’s degree in engineering or a related technical discipline
  • 3+ years of professional experience in mechanical design and analysis
  • 2+ years of hands-on project experience with complex mechanical systems, preferably as a team lead
  • Proficient in 3D CAD (NX preferred)
  • Solid understanding and application of GD&T
  • Demonstrated understanding of structural analysis and failure modes of complex mechanical systems
  • Prior ownership of a complex component or assembly from initial design through high-volume production ramp
  • Self-motivated with strong organizational, written, and oral communication skills

Some preferred skills and experience depend on the specific team within Starlink mechanical engineering, and may include:

  • Knowledge of and experience in selecting materials, manufacturing methods, and surface treatments for mechanical components
  • Proficiency in one or more programming languages
  • Experience working with PCB designers and exposure to PCB layout and PCBA mechanical design
  • Experience with design of experiments, statistical process control, and process qualification
  • Specific expertise applicable to any of the above sub-teams


  • Ability to work long hours and weekends as necessary to support critical milestones


Pay range:
Mechanical Engineer/Senior: $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.