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.

GNC ENGINEER (STARLINK)

SpaceX is looking for engineers with backgrounds in orbital mechanics, control theory, state estimation, spacecraft systems design, optimization, and software development to join the Starlink guidance, navigation, and control (GNC) team. Come help us write the autopilot algorithms for thousands of satellites (the world's largest constellation!) and more than two million user terminals, enabling access to high-speed broadband internet in all corners of the world.

There are several sub-teams within Starlink GNC with different focus areas. Applicants will interview for specific teams based on hiring needs and qualifications. Specific team responsibilities might include:

  • Constellation design and optimization
  • Fleet management and satellite orbit transfer automation, including all supporting software infrastructure
  • Constellation-level and network-level analysis of both existing and proposed satellite systems
  • Satellite collision avoidance
  • Satellite attitude determination and control
  • Satellite orbit control, such as low thrust trajectory optimization and station-keeping
  • Precision state estimation and control of various network payloads (RF antennas, laser inter-satellite links)

RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Develop highly reliable and performant GNC algorithms, simulations, tools, services, and dashboards using C++ or Python; Starlink GNC Engineers write actual production code, not just prototypes for transcription by another team
  • Participate in architecture, design, and code reviews
  • Bulk data analysis to review performance data from various elements of the Starlink constellation and network
  • Write high quality technical documentation of programs, algorithms, or analysis
  • Support your relevant on-call operations rotation, commanding satellites or reviewing network data to keep our network continuously operating at peak performance

BASIC QUALIFICATIONS

  • Bachelor's degree in computer science, aerospace, physics or an engineering discipline and 5+ years of professional experience in the GNC
  • Software development experience in either C++ or Python

PREFERRED SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE

Some preferred skills and experience depend on the specific team within Starlink GNC.

  • Master's degree or PHD in an engineering discipline or physics
  • Developed, debugged and deployed software that has been used in real world applications/projects
  • Creative approach to problem solving, exceptional analytical skills and engineering fundamentals
  • Cradle to grave development of three axis stabilized spacecraft incorporating momentum, magnetic, and propulsive control
  • Strong understanding of orbital mechanics, including low thrust trajectory optimization and stationkeeping
  • Experience in verifying GNC algorithm performance via simulation, and validation of the simulation's models
  • Experience with state estimation, particularly attitude determination, orbit determination, GNSS, and radio navigation
  • Familiarity with numerical probability of collision methods such as Alfano, Foster, and Hall
  • General familiarity with the disciplines necessary for spacecraft flight including; structures, propulsion, avionics, GNC, flight software, dynamics, launch and mission operations, and integration. Practical experience in real world development of these systems is highly desired
  • Capable of identifying and solving complex problems with little to no supervision or direction
  • Passion for advancing the commercial space industry
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced, autonomously driven, and demanding start-up atmosphere
  • Excellent communication skills both written and verbal

ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS:

  • Must be willing to work extended hours and weekends as needed

COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS:    
    
Pay range:    
Sr. GNC Engineer/Level 3: $160,000.00 - $220,000.00/per year    
    
Your actual level and base salary will be determined on a case-by-case basis and may vary based on the following considerations: job-related knowledge and skills, education, and experience.

Base salary is just one part of your total rewards package at SpaceX. You may also be eligible for long-term incentives, in the form of company stock, stock options, or long-term cash awards, as well as potential discretionary bonuses and the ability to purchase additional stock at a discount through an Employee Stock Purchase Plan. You will also receive access to comprehensive medical, vision, and dental coverage, access to a 401(k)-retirement plan, short & long-term disability insurance, life insurance, paid parental leave, and various other discounts and perks. You may also accrue 3 weeks of paid vacation & will be eligible for 10 or more paid holidays per year. Exempt employees are eligible for 5 days of sick leave per year.

ITAR REQUIREMENTS:

  • To conform to U.S. Government export regulations, applicant must be a (i) U.S. citizen or national, (ii) U.S. lawful, permanent resident (aka green card holder), (iii) Refugee under 8 U.S.C. § 1157, or (iv) Asylee under 8 U.S.C. § 1158, or be 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.

Apply for this Job

* Required
resume chosen  
(File types: pdf, doc, docx, txt, rtf)
When autocomplete results are available use up and down arrows to review
+ Add another education


Voluntary Self-Identification

For government reporting purposes, we ask candidates to respond to the below self-identification survey. Completion of the form is entirely voluntary. Whatever your decision, it will not be considered in the hiring process or thereafter. Any information that you do provide will be recorded and maintained in a confidential file.

As set forth in SpaceX’s Equal Employment Opportunity policy, we do not discriminate on the basis of any protected group status under any applicable law.

Race & Ethnicity Definitions

If you believe you belong to any of the categories of protected veterans listed below, please indicate by making the appropriate selection. As a government contractor subject to the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA), we request this information in order to measure the effectiveness of the outreach and positive recruitment efforts we undertake pursuant to VEVRAA. Classification of protected categories is as follows:

A "disabled veteran" is one of the following: a veteran of the U.S. military, ground, naval or air service who is entitled to compensation (or who but for the receipt of military retired pay would be entitled to compensation) under laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs; or a person who was discharged or released from active duty because of a service-connected disability.

A "recently separated veteran" means any veteran during the three-year period beginning on the date of such veteran's discharge or release from active duty in the U.S. military, ground, naval, or air service.

An "active duty wartime or campaign badge veteran" means a veteran who served on active duty in the U.S. military, ground, naval or air service during a war, or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized under the laws administered by the Department of Defense.

An "Armed forces service medal veteran" means a veteran who, while serving on active duty in the U.S. military, ground, naval or air service, participated in a United States military operation for which an Armed Forces service medal was awarded pursuant to Executive Order 12985.


Voluntary Self-Identification of Disability

Form CC-305
Page 1 of 1
OMB Control Number 1250-0005
Expires 04/30/2026

Why are you being asked to complete this form?

We are a federal contractor or subcontractor. The law requires us to provide equal employment opportunity to qualified people with disabilities. We have a goal of having at least 7% of our workers as people with disabilities. The law says we must measure our progress towards this goal. To do this, we must ask applicants and employees if they have a disability or have ever had one. People can become disabled, so we need to ask this question at least every five years.

Completing this form is voluntary, and we hope that you will choose to do so. Your answer is confidential. No one who makes hiring decisions will see it. Your decision to complete the form and your answer will not harm you in any way. If you want to learn more about the law or this form, visit the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) website at www.dol.gov/ofccp.

How do you know if you have a disability?

A disability is a condition that substantially limits one or more of your “major life activities.” If you have or have ever had such a condition, you are a person with a disability. Disabilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Alcohol or other substance use disorder (not currently using drugs illegally)
  • Autoimmune disorder, for example, lupus, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, HIV/AIDS
  • Blind or low vision
  • Cancer (past or present)
  • Cardiovascular or heart disease
  • Celiac disease
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Deaf or serious difficulty hearing
  • Diabetes
  • Disfigurement, for example, disfigurement caused by burns, wounds, accidents, or congenital disorders
  • Epilepsy or other seizure disorder
  • Gastrointestinal disorders, for example, Crohn's Disease, irritable bowel syndrome
  • Intellectual or developmental disability
  • Mental health conditions, for example, depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, schizophrenia, PTSD
  • Missing limbs or partially missing limbs
  • Mobility impairment, benefiting from the use of a wheelchair, scooter, walker, leg brace(s) and/or other supports
  • Nervous system condition, for example, migraine headaches, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Neurodivergence, for example, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder, dyslexia, dyspraxia, other learning disabilities
  • Partial or complete paralysis (any cause)
  • Pulmonary or respiratory conditions, for example, tuberculosis, asthma, emphysema
  • Short stature (dwarfism)
  • Traumatic brain injury

PUBLIC BURDEN STATEMENT: According to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 no persons are required to respond to a collection of information unless such collection displays a valid OMB control number. This survey should take about 5 minutes to complete.


Please reach out to our support team via our help center.
Please complete the reCAPTCHA above.