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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.



  • Support east coast recovery operations: Falcon 9, and soon Falcon Heavy and Crew Dragon. 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, finding ways to make operations cheaper, faster, safer, more efficient, and more reliable.
  • Develop crew recovery capabilities including, visiting and designing landing sites, contracting vendors, coming up with novel ways to meet NASA requirements, and taking high-level concepts and fleshing out the details to make them a reality.
  • 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.


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


  • Experience using a high-end CAD software design package (e.g. NX, CATIA, ProE).
  • Experience designing 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.


  • Must be able to climb ladders and work in tight spaces.
  • Willing to work with hazardous materials.
  • Must be able to perform job duties that require standing, kneeling, crouching, twisting upper body, working in cramped positions in small openings, climbing hand over hand, and lifting 25 lbs.
  • Must be able to work at elevated heights (up to 300 feet), including the use of ladders and lifts.
  • 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 be willing to travel.
  • Ability to operate heavy machinery.
  • Ability to pass Air Force background check for Cape Canaveral


  • To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, including the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) you 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 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.

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