Trajectory Analysis Engineer



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hawthorne, ca, usa
Posted on Saturday, May 6, 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 Trajectory Analysis team is responsible for ensuring that the general public are kept safe during SpaceX launch activities. The Trajectory Analysis Engineer develops and tests the Autonomous Flight Termination System (AFTS) destruct criteria and works with SpaceX partners in the Space Force and FAA to ensure launches satisfy quantitative risk criteria. You will have the opportunity to work with all engineering teams to help understand failure scenarios, informing the design of vehicles that are highly autonomous, capable of long-duration missions, with high reliability. You will work with external partners in NASA, the Space Force, and the FAA to ensure launches satisfy quantitative risk criteria.


  • Analyze established and first-time trajectory profiles designed by the SpaceX Guidance, Navigation, and Control team for risk to the launch site and general public
  • Perform reliability analyses for complex systems (quantitative and qualitative)
  • Review systems, identify failure modes, scenarios (i.e. work to put strong engineering controls in place, with the right verifications)
  • Simulate a variety of failure modes that the launch vehicle may experience and the impact they have on achieving a safe orbit and meeting mission requirements
  • Author flight plans and generate data required by Space Force and FAA regulations to obtain launch licenses for each mission flown
  • Develop and test Autonomous Flight Termination System (AFTS) destruct criteria to ensure acceptability for reliable and safe flight
  • Write technical documents for internal and external customers in support of contract milestones, licensing efforts, or other customer requirements


  • Bachelor’s degree in an engineering or STEM discipline
  • 1+ year experience working with MATLAB and Python


  • Master’s degree in an engineering or STEM discipline
  • Familiarity with launch vehicle architectures and fundamental systems (avionics, propulsion, structures, guidance, navigation and control, etc.)
  • Experience with Failure Mode, Effects & Criticality Analysis (FMECA), fault trees, distribution fitting, or hypothesis testing
  • Demonstrated ability to code in Python and other languages
  • Ability to think out-of-the-box, motivate people to think imaginatively of how things can break
  • Experience processing and analyzing large datasets, such as Monte Carlo simulations, quickly and efficiently
  • Experience managing and utilizing issue and project tracking software such as JIRA
  • Experience on collaborative coding projects utilizing software tracking tools such as Git or SVN
  • Strong communication skills and comfort interfacing with contacts outside of SpaceX
  • Ability to solve complex problems on time as an individual or as a member of a team


Pay range:
Trajectory Analysis Engineer/Level I: $95,000.00 - $115,000.00/per year
Trajectory Analysis Engineer/Level II: $110,000.00 - $130,000.00/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 and long-term disability insurance, life insurance, paid parental leave, and various other discounts and perks. You may also accrue 3 weeks of paid vacation and 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.

This job is no longer accepting applications

See open jobs at SpaceX.