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Propulsion Components Engineering Leadership Development Program

Propulsion Components Engineering Leadership Development Program

Propulsion - Engine Design and Development

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.


The Propulsion Components team develops the most advanced spacecraft and launch vehicle components in the world. Engineers in this group design and build valves, actuators and other fluid control devices on our spacecraft and launch vehicles, with 800+ components on Falcon 9 and 300+ components on Dragon. Spacecraft components are designed to withstand some of the most extreme requirements in any industry with devices managing fluids from +700 F down to -400 F, high pressures, and extreme flight environments, while maximizing reliability and minimizing weight. Our engineers are expected to lead their own projects from concept to flight using their strength in design and hands-on hardware assembly and testing. 

In this advanced rotational program, you will work on 3 of the following teams: 

  • Spacecraft Propulsion Component Design (Cargo Dragon)
  • Launch Vehicle and Engine Component Design (Falcon 9)
  • Environmental Control and Life Support Component Design (Crew Dragon)
  • Spacecraft and Launch Vehicle Component Test Engineering
  • Spacecraft and Launch Vehicle Component Manufacturing Engineering

Program Structure:

  • Program members will complete 3 six-month rotations including 1 spacecraft component design rotation, 1 launch vehicle component design rotation, and 1 rotation of your choice in the counterpart test or manufacturing groups.


  • Responsible for design and analysis of new fluid components, development of advanced manufacturing processes and design and construction of automated component test equipment for the Falcon 9, Dragon and BFR (Mars) vehicles.
  • Generate detailed drawings and coordinate valve manufacturing with the production group.
  • Develop and execute component flight qualification test plans (e.g. vibration, shock, thermal cycle, life cycle, burst, etc.).
  • Develop production flight acceptance tests for propulsion components.
  • Generate and maintain component specifications.
  • Document and troubleshoot component anomalies.


  • Bachelor’s degree in mechanical or aerospace engineering.
  • 1 year of experience designing and analyzing mechanical systems via professional work experience, project/research based student experience or a combination of both.


  • Master's degree in mechanical or aerospace engineering.
  • Working knowledge of valves, regulators, burst disks, and other fluid components.
  • Experience working on mechanisms or mechanical systems (e.g. drivetrains, pumps, engines, etc.).
  • Fundamental understanding of launch vehicle and/or spacecraft fluid systems.
  • Hands-on experience with fluid and/or gas handling systems.
  • Leadership experience on a project or research team.
  • Experience using test instrumentation and control components (e.g. pressure transducers, thermocouples, resistance temperature detectors, relays, solenoid valves, etc.).
  • Experience building or fixing mechanical systems on a recreational basis.


  • Travel to vendors and other SpaceX sites as needed.
  • Must be able to work nights and weekends as needed.


  • 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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