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Launch Operations Engineer (Starship)



Texas, USA
Posted on Wednesday, June 5, 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.


Aggressively-paced, constantly-evolving, results-focused, real-as-it-gets engineering positions available for the ambitious. We design, build, activate, modify, improve, and maintain the structures and fluid systems that feed, hold down, and measure the most powerful rocket in the world. Aimed at pivoting and fixing issues every day, you can plan on having your skills put to the test, having hardware you designed, made and installed the same day in a development-focused environment. From tens of thousands of gallons per minute of cryogens to tens of pounds per second of high-pressure gas, we develop clever solutions to meet the needs of a demanding launch and test program both today and for the future.


  • Analyze, design, and build systems that support critical rocket launches and testing
  • Cradle-to-grave project ownership through hosting design reviews, project decision justification, equipment procurement, and coordination and assistance of the construction of your ideas
  • Work directly with technicians and support groups to build your designs, and fix real-world problems on the fly
  • Maintain a tight feedback loop with the launch operations team to rapidly alter plans as necessary to meet tight deadlines
  • Activate and troubleshoot equipment to achieve design objectives and iterate system maintenance strategies to reduce future downtimes
  • Independently evaluate complex problems and arrive at solutions to seemingly impractical problems that best support the program
  • Hands-on approach to tackling daily field projects necessary to keep the company launching rockets


  • Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, aerospace engineering, or other engineering discipline
  • 1+ years of hands-on build or design experience (internship, club, and competition team experience qualifies)


  • Ability to work independently as well as part of a team, take initiative, and communicate effectively
  • Ability to rapidly change roles/responsibilities while maintaining a high sense of urgency in a high-paced, challenging work environment
  • Willingness to perform other related duties for the purpose of ensuring an efficient and effective work environment
  • Experience with quick-thinking and problem solving in stressful situations
  • Experience solving challenges posed by short deadlines
  • Strong fundamental intuition of fluid and/or structural/mechanical systems
  • Creativity to imagine and design for reliability, efficiency, and maintainability from scratch
  • General hands-on experience; machining, welding, and other fabrication techniques is a plus
  • Experience with instrumentation, testing, data review and analysis, verification against a model
  • 3+ years of mechanical, fluids, or thermal design experience in an industrial setting or equivalent
  • Experience with high pressure and cryogenic fluid systems and components
  • Experience producing drawings for welders and machine shop fabrication
  • Collaborative team player, eager to find the best solution while balancing cost and schedule
  • Acute attention to detail, ability to see interactions with other systems to avoid problems
  • Intermediate skill level using CAD (NX a plus)
  • Ability to verify designs with simplified hand calculations; experience in FEA or CFD is a plus
  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) piping and pressure vessel design experience
  • Creative and passionate approach to addressing opportunities and challenges, and an enthusiastic, self-motivated, positive can-do attitude
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills


  • Ability to respond to emergencies to support priority projects, missions, and launches
  • Ability to work extended hours and weekends as needed; flexibility is required
  • Ability to work in extreme outdoor environments when needed – heat, cold, wind, rain, etc.
  • Ability to work in an environment requiring exposure to fumes, odors, and noise
  • Working conditions may be in tight quarters and physical dexterity is required
  • Ability to perform job duties that require standing, kneeling, crouching, twisting upper body, working in cramped positions in small openings, and climbing hand over hand
  • Ability to lift heavy objects up to 25 lbs. unassisted
  • Ability to work on ladders, lifts, and at elevated heights (up to 300 feet) with proper personal protective equipment (PPE)


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