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.

SR. SOFTWARE ENGINEER (STARSHIELD) - TOP SECRET CLEARANCE

Starshield leverages SpaceX’s Starlink technology and launch capability to support national security efforts. While Starlink is designed for consumer and commercial use, Starshield is designed for government use, with an initial focus on earth observation, communications, and hosted payloads.

The Starshield software team is building highly reliable in-space mesh networks, designing secure systems to guarantee access to space, designing next-gen communication and sensing software, and more. Aerospace experience is not required to be successful here - we want our engineers to bring fresh ideas from all areas. We look for engineers who love solving problems and seek to make an impact on an inspiring mission. As we expand this team, we're looking for versatile, motivated, and collaborative engineers. 

Our team is involved in designing the vehicle systems at every phase of development. We build tools that enable us to work more efficiently, and that help us build software systems that are secure, reliable, and autonomous. Our software engineers are responsible for the life cycle of the software they create, including development, testing, and operational support.  

RESPONSIBILITIES: 

  • Create highly reliable software systems that control hundreds of satellites in low earth orbit
  • Leverage software design to improve satellite constellation performance, security, and availability to meet the needs of a wide range of users
  • See your software through from start to finish: from figuring out the core needs to prototyping, developing, and testing; to on-orbit rollout and beyond
  • Work with interdisciplinary teams to brainstorm, design, and build the next generation of satellite capabilities, from cutting-edge sensors and inter-satellite lasers to space-based cloud compute

There are several roles within the Starshield software team with different focus areas. Applicants will interview for specific focus areas based on hiring needs and qualifications. Specific role responsibilities may include: 

  • Write high quality Linux-based C++ software for common processors and micro controllers (e.g. ARM, PowerPC, x86, etc.) 
  • Implement networking technologies to direct data across a variety of satellites, ground operations centers, and users 
  • Build automated ground-based software systems that integrate smart data processing with command and control of the satellites
  • Develop models and simulations for flight-like vehicle software testing, network performance analysis, or research & development projects
  • Develop tools that allow for test execution across multiple environments: virtualized hardware, real hardware-in-the-loop, and even vehicle-in-the-loop testing 
  • Invent new systems that enable more frequent and reliable software deployment, test execution, and data analysis as part of a continuous integration and release system  

BASIC QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Bachelor's degree in computer science, engineering, math, or other STEM discipline and 5+ years of experience in software development; OR 7+ years of professional experience in software development in lieu of a degree 
  • 2+ years of development experience in C, C++, or Python
  • Active Top Secret, Top Secret SCI, or DOE Level Q clearance

PREFERRED SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE: 

  • Developed and deployed software that has been used real-world applications and projects 
  • Solid fundamental knowledge of computer architecture and networks 
  • Strong skills in debugging, performance optimization and unit testing 
  • Ability to work effectively and creatively in a dynamic environment with changing needs and requirements 
  • Ability to work independently and in a team, take initiative, and communicate effectively 

Some preferred skills and experience depend on the specific team within flight software and may include: 

  • Experience with networking protocols (TCP, UDP, etc.) 
  • Experience developing in the Linux kernel 
  • Experience in C++ for high performance systems 
  • Experience with image data processing and machine learning 
  • Strong background in math and physics 

ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS: 

  • Note that an active clearance may provide the opportunity for you to work on sensitive SpaceX missions; if so, you will be subject to pre-employment drug and random drug and alcohol testing
  • Must be willing to work extended hours and weekends as needed

COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS:    

Pay Range:    
Software Engineer/Senior: $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.

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