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Launch Engineer, Mechanical Systems

Launch Engineer, Mechanical Systems

Rocket Launch Facility - Vandenberg

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 Vandenberg Launch Pad Systems & Operations team is a small team of elite engineers tasked with designing and implementing all ground-side mechanical and fluid systems critical for the successful launch of the Falcon 9. Focusing on the mechanical systems, you will work closely with our headquarters-based Launch Engineering team to scale launch operations in support of our ambitious goals, helping to extrapolate site-specific implications of company-wide best practices and engineering advancements.  


  • Assist in the design and development of mechanical launch systems for the Falcon 9 launch vehicle
  • Work on projects ranging from upgrades to the large vehicle transport erector systems and launch vehicle recovery systems to small custom valves for fluid systems, test fixtures, and automated mechanisms
  • Help SpaceX achieve its long-term goal of creating the world’s first fully automated launch system capable of rolling the vehicle to the pad, raising it to position, fueling the vehicle, and executing a full launch sequence within a 1-hour time window
  • Use your well-rounded technical knowledge to display proficiency in basic structural sizing, mechanisms, and design while making development decisions based on cost and schedule considerations


  • Bachelor’s degree in an engineering discipline
  • Experience using a high-end CAD software design package(s) (either NX, CATIA, or ProE)
  • 2+ years of total experience in one or more of the following, involvement with an outside of the classroom project team designing and building mechanical structures, academic research on mechanical structures or professional experience designing and analyzing mechanical structures


  • Master’s degree in mechanical engineering
  • Previous experience managing large assembly models and drawings
  • Demonstrated expertise in the design of welded structures
  • Strong understanding and application of geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T)
  • Experience designing mass efficient structures
  • Ability to work well in an integrated collaborative team environment including daily interactions with technicians, engineers, and managers
  • Ability to prioritize and execute tasks in a high-pressure environment


  • Must pass Vandenberg Air Force background check
  • Must be willing to travel (approximately 10%) to other launch sites as necessary
  • Must be willing to work long hours and occasional weekends when necessary to support launch and critical project timelines
  • Must be able to lift a minimum of 35 lbs. unassisted
  • Lifting, standing, climbing, bending, grasping, sitting, pulling, pushing, stooping, stretching, and carrying are generally required to perform the functions of this position
  • Must be able to work at elevated heights
  • Must be willing to operate heavy machinery
  • Must be able to work in confined spaces
  • Occasionally exposed to work in extreme outdoor environments – heat, cold, rain, ice
  • Work performed in an environment requiring exposure to fumes, odors, and noise


  • 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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