Ground Segment Engineer



hawthorne, ca, usa
Posted on Wednesday, February 1, 2023

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.


The SpaceX Ground Segment team is responsible for supporting a wide array of communications needs and day of launch activities from SpaceX mission control. They support and deploy our worldwide network of ground stations, own all launch site and recovery RF communications and optical tracking, and maintain all Starlink telemetry, tracking, and control (TT&C) assets. For all real-time operations of Falcon, Dragon, and Starship, the team facilitates NASA flight operations interfaces and network integration, as well as mission control video and communications readiness testing. Additionally, as the focus turns towards the Human Landing System, the team is working on developing the plan and infrastructure that will be used to communicate with our vehicles and teams on and around the moon.

As an engineer on the Ground Segment hardware team, you will design, build and deploy hardware that is used on worldwide network of SpaceX ground systems and tracking assets supporting wide variety of SpaceX programs. You will also work with multiple stakeholders to identify system requirements and interfaces to support ground stations operations.


  • Design and build ground station communication systems through all stages of development (site survey, system design review, hardware selection, hardware integration, end-to-end testing and activation)
  • Present engineering design reviews, as well as participate in proposal-writing efforts
  • Work with engineers and technicians to deploy and maintain complete ground station systems to be mission ready
  • Work closely with recovery team on building and maintaining SpaceX marine telemetry systems
  • Support mission operations for Falcon, Dragon, and Starship performing real-time ground segment operations in mission control
  • Support the build and maintenance of optical tracking stations at launch sites. This includes system integration and testing for flight readiness
  • Interface with multiple disciplines including customers, mission management, avionics, RF, logistics, suppliers, and manufacturing
  • Troubleshoot issues on ground stations and production assemblies on an aggressive schedule
  • Lead the selection, integration, and maintenance of ground support rack hardware and software
  • Specify and drive creation of ground stations hardware-in-the-loop test systems to support software development and system verification and validation
  • Oversee production, testing, quality control, and shipment logistics of ground station support hardware
  • Work closely with software team to drive ground stations automation and monitoring
  • Set up asset maintenance strategies using risk based and reliability centered maintenance methodologies
  • Maintain asset documentation and preventative maintenance plans
  • Identify and maintain critical spare strategy for worldwide ground stations


  • Bachelor’s degree in electrical, aerospace or mechanical engineering
  • 2+ years of industry experience designing, implementing and testing system-level communication architecture


  • Strong understanding of RF fundamentals
  • Experience in the development and installation of satellite tracking ground antennas and systems
  • Experience in a ground station operations
  • Knowledge of ground station equipment to include up and down converters, power amplifiers, receivers, and other antenna elements
  • Experience with low-voltage power distribution, backup battery, generator systems, and international electrical standards
  • Hands-on experience with lab instruments such as oscilloscopes, spectrum analyzers, and signal generators
  • Experience with GNU Radio or similar signal processing libraries
  • Experience developing tools in Python or Matlab
  • Strong project management skills, detail oriented, organized, and able to demonstrate a high sense of urgency
  • Mastery in the use of Visio or other CAD software to develop system schematics
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills


  • Ability to pass Air Force background checks for Cape Canaveral and Vandenberg
  • Must be willing to travel as required to domestic and international ground station sites (< 25%)
  • Must be willing to support extended hours and weekends when necessary to support launch and critical project timelines
  • Must be able to lift a minimum of 25 lbs. unassisted
  • Lifting, standing, climbing, bending, grasping, sitting, pulling, pushing, stooping, stretching, and carrying are generally required to perform the functions of this position


Pay range:
Ground Segment Engineer/Level I: $100,000.00 - $120,000.00/per year
Ground Segment Engineer/Level II: $115,000.00 - $135,000.00/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.


  • 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.