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Recovery Operations Engineer

Recovery Operations Engineer

Launch Engineering

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.

Recovery Operations Engineer


  • Lead Dragon and Falcon recovery missions. This includes, contracting vendors, creating cost estimates, developing and authoring field procedures, managing a team, and leading recovery operations in the field.
  • Improve upon current Dragon and Falcon recovery methods; find ways to make it cheaper, faster, safer, more efficient, and more reliable.
  • Develop Falcon land landing capabilities. This includes, planning concept of operations and designing ground support equipment.
  • Process flown vehicles when they return to land. This includes, identifying requirements, developing procedures, and working with several design and operations teams within SpaceX to ensure vehicles are processed quickly and efficiently to prep for reuse.

Basic Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in an engineering discipline
  • 2+ years of hands-on experience building, maintaining, and modifying equipment

Preferred Skills and Experience:

  • Experience designing and operating fluid or electrical systems
  • Testing experience, including setting test objectives, writing test plans, and hands-on testing
  • Experience operating and troubleshooting remote-operated ground control systems
  • Experience with critical operations where real-time decision making affected success criteria
  • Experience working with technicians, welders or machinists
  • Marine experience

Additional Requirements:

  • Position is subject to pre-employment and random drug and alcohol testing
  • Must be able to climb ladders and work in tight spaces
  • Must be comfortable being trained to work around hypergolic propellants (MMH and NTO)
  • Willing to work with hazardous materials (hypergols)
  • Must be able to perform job duties that require standing, kneeling, crouching, twisting upper body, working in cramped positions in small openings and climbing hand over hand
  • Must be able to work at elevated heights (up to 300 feet), including the use of ladders
  • Willing to operate small support boats in open ocean conditions
  • Must be able to climb up and down stairs regularly throughout the day
  • Able to work in confined spaces
  • Willing to work in extreme outdoor environments – heat, cold, rain, wind, open ocean
  • Work performed in an environment requiring exposure to fumes, odors, and noise
  • When necessary, must be willing to work long hours and weekends to support launch and critical project timelines
  • Ability to work on offshore vessels for extended durations without access to emergency services normally available on shore
  • Must pass Air Force background checks for Cape Canaveral and Vandenberg

ITAR Requirements:

  • To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, applicant must be a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident of the U.S., protected individual as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3), or eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State. Learn more about 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.


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