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Sr. Launch Engineer, Propulsion (Dragon)



Cape Canaveral, FL, USA
Posted on Thursday, July 4, 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.



  • This role is primarily focused on Dragon Propulsion system integration, pressurized checkouts, and efficiency projects
  • Provide technical guidance on and lead efforts to achieve long term department and program-wide goals
  • Mentor junior engineers and be the resident subject matter expert for the team
  • Develop and execute procedures for the integration and test of crew/cargo Dragon flight hardware and ground support equipment
  • Become a Dragon vehicle controller and test conductor to run Dragon integrated system pressurized testing and proofing operations
  • Evaluate flight vehicle requirements and work scope definition for capsule refurbishment campaigns, including evaluation of change, risk, and previous as built conditions
  • Manage projects to drive impactful change in how we refurbish Dragon
  • Responsible for enabling day-to-day execution of the vehicle maintenance, integration, propellant system checkouts and test flow
  • Develop and refine inspection, repair/retrofit, assembly and system test procedures based on lessons learned to mature status
  • Design high-level vehicle maintenance architecture including build flow and test operations for maximum efficiency
  • Manage work orders and the driving of non-conformances into actionable items and system improvements
  • Maintain large integrated planning documents that are inclusive of varying capsule configurations and work scope
  • Design and develop tools and hardware to enable vehicle processing and ensure vehicle testing abilities
  • Help develop, build and maintain Dragon processing facilities
  • Closely collaborate with engineering staff from other departments and highly skilled technicians on a daily basis
  • Work with a government or commercial customer on pre- and post- flight preparations for human spaceflight
  • Manage and track multiple priorities while maintaining a focus towards common project goals


  • Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, aerospace engineering, chemical engineering, or other engineering discipline
  • 5+ years of experience with hardware development, vehicle integration or refurbishment, manufacturing, pressurized systems, or operations


  • Experience in writing complex integration work instructions on integrated assemblies
  • Experience working with high pressure and/ or electrical and/or high hazard systems
  • Experience interacting with CAD software and large CAD models
  • Master’s degree in an engineering discipline
  • Capable of solving complex problems with little to no supervision on schedule as an individual or as a member of an integrated team
  • Excellent communication skills both written and verbal
  • Demonstrated success providing mentorship to junior engineers


  • Ability to pass Air Force background check for Cape Canaveral
  • Flight hardware typically is built 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
  • May be exposed to work in extreme outdoor environments – heat, cold, rain
  • Schedule varies depending on site operational needs; flexibility required


Pay range:
Launch 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 & 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. 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.