Sr. Avionics Systems Engineer, FTS and Ordnance



Software Engineering
hawthorne, ca, usa
Posted on Friday, May 19, 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.


As a senior system engineer in Falcon avionics, you will have the unique opportunity to lead a cross functional team of engineers that bridge the gap between vehicle analysis, design, and production extending through vehicle operations. With a focus on the autonomous flight termination system (AFTS), you will assume ownership of the system responsible for public safety, including a unique opportunity of becoming a subject expert on ordnance. Equally anchored in all disciplines will position you the ability to spearhead change from product and process development, through production, to vehicle system validation, while helping shape the external regulations that will mark the future of space flight.

This role will provide the opportunity for both technical and project management focused growth in the field of ordnance and flight termination system technology. Your creativity and relentless commitment to quality will be expected to analyze systems designs, define new processes, and develop vehicle validation techniques in order to ultimately support a state-of-the-art reusable space launch vehicle system capable of safely and reliably carrying crew and payloads to Mars. You will put your engineering knowledge to the test by performing real-time troubleshooting on the vehicle’s flight termination system, as it goes from the integration phase through the final go for launch. You will have constant contact with external regulators like the FAA and Space Force Range to ensure Falcon meets the required external standards, while influencing new requirements to introduce new technologies and processes that will enable an aggressive launch manifest while maintaining public safety. Our fundamental goal is to allow humanity to explore the stars; with it comes extreme responsibility to ensure the safety of the crew, payload and the public. Are you up for the challenge?


  • Become the responsible engineering authority for the ordnance used in the autonomous flight termination system (AFTS) for Falcon, working with other teams to test and troubleshoot ordnance related issues, and ensure that Falcon remains healthy on ordnance supply
  • Assist on the conceptual development, requirements definition, and design of ordnance and AFTS components
  • Provide user documentation and recommendations to data packages to support internal and external technical reviews for ordnance and AFTS components
  • Present ordnance analysis data to internal engineering teams, customers and regulators at technical interchange meetings and design reviews
  • Be the liaison between SpaceX and regulators to ensure our ordnance and AFTS meets all external standards while pushing new efforts to increase yield and reliability
  • Work collaboratively with other internal teams, customers and regulators to define the scope of development projects and initial product requirements as new designs move from concept, through prototype, and into production
  • Act as customer facing subject matter expert on ordnance and AFTS, preparing presentations and supporting hardware testing at customer facility and launch site to validate SpaceX design meets regulation
  • Be the lead on system projects including creation, maintenance, and communication of development schedules with sufficient detail to ensure that all assigned personnel are aware of theirs tasks and deadlines as well as identify internal and external resources required to support the project.
  • Identify internal and external resources required to support having a constant supply of ordnance to support an aggressive launch schedule; work with department management to ensure that these resources are assigned to the project


  • Bachelors of Science in an engineering field, science or math.
  • 5+ years of experience with electrical component design, system level integration of electronic components or system level testing.


  • Experience with ordnance and flight termination systems
  • Experience with wire harnesses and associated sub-components
  • Experience in a quality/reliability/manufacturing
  • Experience with 3D CAD software
  • Experience installing and troubleshooting various electronic sensors and components.
  • Competence with electrical test equipment (multimeters, oscilloscopes, power supplies, etc.).
  • Creative problem solver that can bring multiple disciplines together with the ability to assess risk and make design and development decisions without all available data
  • Experience communicating and presenting proposals to technical review boards and customers
  • Self-motivated with strong multi-tasking, organizational, communication and documentation skills
  • Strong sense of accountability and integrity with excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to work in a fast paced, autonomously driven, and demanding atmosphere


  • Must be able to work extended hours and weekends as needed. Minimal travel will be required.


Pay Range:

Sr. Avionics System Engineer: $130,000.00 - $180,000.00/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.