Space Exploration Technologies
"SpaceX is like Special Forces…we do the missions that others think are impossible.We have goals that are absurdly ambitious by any reasonable standard, but we’re going to make them happen. We have the potential here at SpaceX to have an incredible effect on the future of humanity and life itself." — Elon Musk
FROM AUTOMOTIVE TO SOFTWARE GAMING TO ELECTRONICS, SPACEX SEEKS THE TOP TALENT ON THE PLANET
This is SpaceX. We are not like most companies. Our goal is to do what has never before been done—enabling mankind to live on other planets. We push the boundaries of what is currently possible, and understand it takes rare individuals to help us make this happen. We celebrate our successes, and each other. We seek future colleagues with a rare mix of drive, passion, scrappiness, intelligence, and curiosity to seek what’s beyond the stars.
Playing a direct role in advancing the course of human history is no small endeavor. Join us, and find your place in the SpaceX legacy.
Write code that autonomously pilots our vehicles in space, simulates countless flight scenarios, translates petabytes of data, performs computational fluid dynamics, and more.
Nearly every board and box that controls, communicates, actuates, or powers our avionics is built in-house employing the same iterative approach used in the commercial industries.
Our goal is to have the most mass-efficient primary and secondary structures possible while exceeding all factors of safety.
With Merlin, Draco, and Kestrel as flight-proven examples, along with SuperDraco and Raptor in development, you will not find a more robust engine development program in the world.
LAUNCH & TEST
We have built some of the most efficient launch facilities and a test facility in Texas that exceeds one engine test per day.
ADVANCE THE COURSE OF HUMAN HISTORY AND PAVE THE WAYS TO MARS
SpaceX engineering interns play a significant role in the design, development, testing, and manufacturing of spaceflight hardware.
Here at SpaceX, you will obtain invaluable hands-on technical experience that you can’t learn in a classroom. Our engineers will help you to roll up your sleeves and apply text book theory and lab experience to creating solutions for real aerospace challenges. You will gain practical experience by participating in actual space hardware development projects.
The most successful candidates for SpaceX’s Internship/Co-Op Program have a history of significant contributions to hands-on extracurricular engineering projects in addition to a strong academic record.
Many participants in SpaceX’s Internship/Co-Op Program return as full-time employees upon completing their higher education.
AVIONICS (ELECTRONICS) – Our Avionics group works to design, develop, test, analyze and integrate all the electronic hardware and software for our vehicles. This includes but is not limited to: flight software, flight computers, power conversion units, analog and digital circuit boards, FPGA’s, communication system units, guidance, navigation and control as well as enclosure and wire harness development.
Majors represented are mainly: Aerospace Engineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering.
AVIONICS (SOFTWARE) – The primary software function at SpaceX is housed in the Avionics group; this elite team writes and validates all the flight code that guides the vehicle to/in orbit. The programming in the flight computers also runs real time analysis of the vehicle in-flight to ensure nominal performance on flight controls and sensors for Falcon rockets and the Dragon spacecraft. Software engineers at SpaceX enjoy executing a mission critical role and are challenged by developing complex, high reliability code from cradle to grave.
Majors represented are mainly: Computer Engineering, Computer Science, and Electrical Engineering.
DYNAMICS – Our Dynamics group focuses on mathematical modeling and environments testing. Their role is to use the latest modeling tools to simulate the environments and loads a vehicle will see in flight in order to provide the best possible design parameters to our design teams. In other words, they provide the initial inputs we use when beginning a design. A good dynamics team lays a strong foundation for the rest of the company.
Majors represented are mainly: Aerospace Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and other Interdisciplinary Engineering.
LAUNCH OPERATIONS – The Launch Operations group is tasked with final vehicle integration and launch/mission execution. They are also responsible for the launch pad infrastructure, including ground support equipment and tooling. The hardware produced by the other departments is delivered to the Launch Ops group for integration into one seamless, beautiful system. Once the vehicle is integrated, they do final vehicle roll out, check out, and countdown for launch. This team does a significant amount of travel to and from our launch sites.
Majors represented are mainly: Aerospace Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering.
MANUFACTURING/OPERATIONS – One of the most critical needs we now have at SpaceX is for Manufacturing/Operations engineers. With two vehicles flight proven, we have a $3 billion backlog of sold flights. The next critical phase is proving our ability to build rockets with increasing speed while maintaining quality in order to meet the markets high demand. We are looking to add manufacturing engineers throughout the company.
Majors represented are mainly: Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, Materials Science, Mechanical Engineering, and other Interdisciplinary Engineering.
PROPULSION (ENGINES) – Our Propulsion group brings together some of the brightest minds in the engine business. We currently build more rocket engines than any other organization in the country, furthermore the design and performance parameters of SpaceX engines are notably recognized throughout the industry. Our team built the first human rated engines to see spaceflight since the Space Shuttles Main Engines were built over 30 years ago.
Majors represented are mainly: Aerospace Engineering and Mechanical Engineering.
STRUCTURES – Our Structures group is responsible for both primary and secondary structures, as well as tooling and machine design. We do both metallic and composite structural fabrication in-house. Most of what you actually see when looking at a launch vehicle or spacecraft is done by our Structures group. With mass and cost so closely correlated in the space business, our Structures group is constantly striving to develop the most efficient body structures ever created.
Majors represented are mainly: Aerospace Engineering and Mechanical Engineering.
ENTERPRISE INFORMATION SYSTEMS - Our EIS team is dedicated to developing and enhancing our custom, in-house Enterprise Resource Planning application that keeps SpaceX running. Every step of the manufacturing process goes through our ERP application - from ordering parts to building the rockets on the shop floor to tracking issues as the rocket is built. Our team of software engineers is responsible for not only maintaining the ERP system but also for constantly innovating it to keep pushing our manufacturing process forward.
Majors represented are mainly: Computer Science
*Please note this is not a complete list of all groups. Opportunities may be available in other areas.
ADVANCING THE FUTURE
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.
SpaceX designs, manufactures and launches the world’s most advanced rockets and spacecraft. The company was founded in 2002 by Elon Musk to revolutionize space transportation, with the ultimate goal of making life multiplanetary.
Under a $1.6 billion contract with NASA, SpaceX will fly numerous cargo resupply missions to the ISS, for a total of at least 12—and in the near future, SpaceX will carry crew as well. Dragon was designed from the outset to carry astronauts and now, under a $440 million agreement with NASA, SpaceX is making modifications to make Dragon crew-ready. SpaceX is the world’s fastest-growing provider of launch services. Profitable and cash-flow positive, the company has nearly 50 launches on its manifest, representing close to $5 billion in contracts. These include commercial satellite launches as well as NASA missions.
Currently under development is the Falcon Heavy, which will be the world’s most powerful rocket. All the while, SpaceX continues to work toward one of its key goals—developing reusable rockets, a feat that will transform space exploration by delivering highly reliable vehicles at radically reduced costs.
SpaceX has gained worldwide attention for a series of historic milestones. It is the only private company ever to return a spacecraft from low-Earth orbit, which it first accomplished in December 2010. The company made history again in May 2012 when its Dragon spacecraft attached to the International Space Station, exchanged cargo payloads, and returned safely to Earth—a technically challenging feat previously accomplished only by governments. Since then Dragon has delivered cargo to and from the space station multiple times, providing regular cargo resupply missions for NASA.
March 2002 SpaceX is incorporated
March 2006 First flight of SpaceX's Falcon 1 rocket
August 2006 NASA awards SpaceX $278 million to demonstrate delivery and return of cargo to ISS
September 2008 Falcon 1 becomes first privately developed liquid-fueled rocket to orbit Earth
December 2008 NASA awards SpaceX $1.6 billion contract for 12 ISS cargo resupply flights
July 2009 Falcon 1 becomes first privately developed liquid-fueled rocket to deliver a commercial satellite into orbit
June 2010 First flight of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket, which successfully achieves Earth orbit
December 2010 On Falcon 9's second flight and the Dragon spacecraft's first, SpaceX becomes the first commercial company to launch a spacecraft into orbit and recover it successfully
May 2012 SpaceX's Dragon becomes first commercial spacecraft to attach to the space station, deliver cargo, and return to Earth
August 2012 SpaceX wins $440 million NASA Space Act Agreement to develop Dragon to transport humans into space
October 2012 SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft delivers critical supplies to and from the space station in the first official cargo resupply mission for NASA
December 2013 SpaceX launches its first geostationary satellite (SES-8) using the Falcon 9 rocket
May 2014 SpaceX unveils its crew Dragon spacecraft
July 2014 SpaceX launches its first constellation mission (ORBCOMM OG2)
July 2014 SpaceX soft lands Falcon 9 first stage, confirming that the booster is able consistently to reenter from space at hypersonic velocity, restart main engines twice, deploy landing legs and touch down at near zero velocity
September 2014 SpaceX awarded $2.6 billion NASA Commercial Crew contract to transport astronauts to the International Space Station
September 2014 SpaceX breaks ground on the world’s first commercial orbital launch site, located at Boca Chica Beach, Texas
Space Exploration Technologies Photos
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- Comp & Benefits
- Work/Life Balance
- Senior Management
- Culture & Values
- Career Opportunities
I worked at Space Exploration Technologies full-time (more than an year)Pros
You will learn so much in the first years working at SpaceX than at any other company in the industry. Young engineers given incredible amount of responsibility. The more work you produce the more work you will get. You have the opportunity to work on cradle-to-grave projects. You work with a diverse group of people from various backgrounds.Cons
The best employees/managers are former DoD employees (i.e. /Boeing/Northrop...etc.). The company is not what it used to be a few years ago (stock options are not worth it, this late in the game). Poor communication among departments, increased bureaucracy, and finger-pointing. Fro-yo and candy gets old after 3 months, compensate and recognize people for their contributions. People burn out here fast (high turnover).Advice to ManagementAdvice
Allow for increased upward mobility among employees between departments (rotation programs).
Need more systems engineers to help improve communication between departments.
Stop hiring people without engineering/industry relevant backgrounds (criminal justice/restaurant managers/cops...etc.).
Improve work life balance (less hours), compensate more, offer higher education reimbursement to retain top talent or they will leave.RecommendsNeutral OutlookApproves of CEO
Getting an Interview
Getting an Interview
- Interview Details
Applied online and then a friend of mine in the company helped get my application into a hiring groups hands. I had two phone interviews and the whole process took around 2 weeks.Interview Questions
- Tell me how you would design an electronics system to account for the vibrations of rocket takeoff Answer Question
We've assembled an exceptional team of scrappy SpaceXers committed to our mission. Helping achieve these goals will be one of the most challenging and rewarding endeavors of your career.
Things you can expect at SpaceX:
- Working with some of the brightest individuals
- Exposure to leading-edge technology
- Playing a direct role in shaping the future of mankind
Mission: 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...