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Thermal Fluid Systems Engineer (Dragon 2)

Thermal Fluid Systems Engineer (Dragon 2)

Vehicle Engineering - Dynamics Design and Analysis

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.


As a Thermal Fluid Systems Engineer at SpaceX, you will have the opportunity to utilize your knowledge, experience, and creativity to develop novel solutions at the cutting edge of space technology. You will work on the aspects of spacecraft design that will enable humans to be ferried to and from the International Space Station and ultimately extend humanity’s reach beyond the earth and moon. Our Life Support System team focuses on the Dragon spacecraft and develops the necessary hardware to allow Dragon to maintain thermal and environmental control, and support life onboard the spacecraft. This role is a challenging role, as it involves design, analysis, testing, and manufacturing of fluids system elements that are a part of the life support systems. You will be working with the team to develop and integrate these components into the Dragon spacecraft, to help carry out its mission of bringing humans into space, to the International Space Station or beyond.


  • Responsible for a portion of the life support systems aboard the SpaceX Dragon space capsule, including both in-house fabricated as well as vendor supplied components
  • Perform CAD modeling and structural analysis of elements of the life support systems
  • Perform fluid analyses for pressure balance, component design allowable, and consumables determination
  • Work with interdisciplinary customers to ensure the component will meet the requirements of avionics, GNC, mission operations, etc.
  • Ensure designs are manufacturable and reliable; work with the production team to ensure a smooth transition to a reliable manufacturing process that has minimal design engineering sustainment engineering required
  • Material selection


  • Bachelor’s degree in an engineering discipline
  • Minimum one year of experience working with various fluids components such as valves, pumps, COPVs, compressors, heat exchangers, pressure transducers, or temperature sensors


  • Master’s degree in an engineering discipline
  • Hands-on experience with fluid (liquid and/or gas) handling systems
  • Experience using data acquisition equipment, as well as test instrumentation and control components: pressure transducers, thermocouples, resistance temperature detectors, relays
  • Experience with HVAC systems and air ducting
  • Experienced in NX or other CAD packages with a solid understanding and application of geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T) per ASME Y14.5-1994 and tolerance stack-up analysis
  • Experience with structural analysis methods in order to optimize hardware to strength requirements as well as to evaluate for life and fracture
  • Experience with FEMAP, ANSYS, and similar structural analysis software tools
  • Experience with pressurized structures and/or lightweight aerospace structures
  • Ability to work independently


  • Must be available to work extended hours and weekends, as needed


  • 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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