GNC/ADCS Engineer (TS/SCI Clearance)

About Us:

BlackSky is a geospatial intelligence solutions provider that enables organizations to task, collect, and transform data from earth observation, global sensor networks, mobile devices, and social media to deliver on-demand insights about places, events, and assets that are critical to their operations. BlackSky provides satellite collection, data, and cloud-based processing and analytic solutions to organizations that are capitalizing on the exponential growth of a wide range of sensor and collection platforms for delivering the next generation of geointelligence and location intelligence solutions. BlackSky has extensive expertise and capabilities in commercial remote sensing, multi-source analytics, cloud computing, open-source software development, Amazon Web Services, and big data geospatial analytics. BlackSky is operating and deploying a constellation of high-resolution imaging spacecraft to image the planet in near real time. 

BlackSky is looking for a talented and creative GNC / ADCS Engineer to take a leadership role in the development, operation, and capability evolution of our BlackSky satellites.   As part of the satellite systems engineering team, you will be the technical authority for GNC/ADCS subjects, supporting of all phases of a satellite lifecycle – including satellite design, modification, launch, and operation.

This position is a critical element of the BlackSky Satellite Systems Engineering team and is expected to work collaboratively with external satellite development teams to ensure success.  The ideal candidate has experience with both early estimating and high-fidelity analyses; is able to develop their own tools as required; has validated their analysis with on-orbit systems; and is able to communicate effectively in both informal and formal (contracts, proposal writing) channels.

We are open to remote candidates in certain states, especially near our Seattle, WA or Herndon, VA offices.


  • Define and perform GNC design trades to inform technology investment decisions
  • Evaluate proposed designs and changes for technical merit
  • Translate operational and business requirements into new or updated satellite system requirements.
  • Use and develop tools to model satellite and constellation systems and budgets
  • Provide oversight and engagement with satellite design and manufacturing teams to drive the design of satellite systems that align with business objectives and specifications.
  • Rapidly gain expertise on on-orbit and in-development satellite GNC subsystems to support anomaly resolution and development decisions
  • Support resolution of technical risks and test/operations anomalies by leading or supporting Tiger Teams and Review Boards to determine root cause and find mitigations
  • Interface effectively with multidisciplinary teams, including satellite and ground system engineers, program management, software developers, IT, and systems engineering
  • Review and independently verify models for attitude control and sensing devices such as reaction wheels, thrusters, IMUs, star trackers, and sun sensors
  • Work closely with attitude control system hardware providers to provide technical oversight and review

Minimum Qualifications 

  • Minimum of three years of technical experience with satellite development, test, and/or operations
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering or related discipline
  • Thorough understanding of satellites systems and associated subsystems
  • Enthusiasm for independent problem-solving, yet possessing strong inter-team cooperation and organization skills
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills with a strong understanding of audience
  • Ability to multi-task within a startup, fast paced environment
  • TS/SCI Clearance.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Between 7-15 years relevant technical experience, preferably in a space systems development environment
  • Advanced degree in engineering or related discipline with a focus on Space Systems
  • Significant experience defining and performing technical trades and analyses
  • Familiarity with small satellite design and qualification processes and testing best practices
  • Experience creating 6 DOF simulations of spacecraft in Matlab/Simulink
  • Experience developing rigid and flexible spacecraft dynamic models
  • Experience developing/implementing maintainable spacecraft attitude estimation and control algorithms
  • Experience developing/coding analysis tools in Python, Matlab, or similar
  • Familiarity with JAMA, STK, Grafana, Atlassian (Confluence, JIRA) workflows

Life at BlackSky for full-time benefits eligible employees includes:

  • BlackSky pays 100% of employee-only premiums for medical, dental and vision and contributes $100/month for out-of-pocket expenses
  • Total of 5 weeks of paid leave including vacation, holidays, volunteerism leave and our shutdown between Christmas and New Year’s Eve
  • 401(k) pre-tax and Roth deferral options with employer match
  • Professional development budgets
  • Mac or PC? Your choice!
  • Awesome space swag

BlackSky is committed to hiring and retaining a diverse workforce. We are proud to be an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer All Qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, protected veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.

EEO/AAP/ Pay Transparency Statements:

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.

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