Mission Manager (Vandenberg)



Vandenberg Village, CA, USA
Posted on Thursday, August 3, 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.


SpaceX services a diverse range of customers across our programs and is looking for exemplary individuals capable of supporting our missions. As a Launch Site Mission Manager, you will be a hands-on contributor responsible for all launch site activities associated with current and future customer spacecraft missions from Vandenberg Air Force Base. This unique location is SpaceX’s primary site for polar and high-inclination orbital missions. You’ll own mission planning, and work directly with the primary Mission Manager and all Launch Site Operations Teams to ensure all customer requirements are met for launch site processing.

In this role you will directly support the execution of the campaign through all phases of operation from launch site spacecraft arrival and offload, to supporting the customer on console during launch. You’ll be an advocate for our customer by acting as the point of contact to apply customer feedback and campaign lessons learned to rapidly improve mission execution and customer satisfaction.

In this position you will also represent the SpaceX launch site to our government customers and be responsible for assuring successful execution on our contractual launch site deliverables for National Security Space missions. You will be responsible for maintaining certification of the Launch Site and providing operational insight to our government customers.


  • Function as launch site focal point for spacecraft range requirements and safety documentation, including the spacecraft Air Force Space Command Manual 91-710 Tailoring, Missile System Prelaunch Safety Package, and the Ground Operations Plan.
  • Serve as launch site point of contact for spacecraft customer interface requirements validation (e.g. interface control document) while working with multidisciplinary teams for approval and implementation.
  • Be the subject matter expert and primary point of contact for customer spacecraft processing, transportation, and logistics at the launch site before and during the launch campaign.
  • Plan and generate technical content for the launch portions of the spacecraft design reviews and ground operations working group activities planning future spacecraft launch campaigns.
  • Plan and manage spacecraft rehearsals along with the execution of spacecraft requirements and inputs into SpaceX day of launch operations.
  • Manage and coordinate spacecraft daily processing and scheduling and provide inputs into integrated SpaceX launch schedules.
  • Identify, develop, and codify process improvements to streamline and standardize spacecraft processing activities.
  • Function as launch site contact to draft launch base elements of new proposals and contracts.
  • Plan, schedule, and staff customer launch site visits and technical interchange meetings.


  • Bachelor's degree in engineering, physics, or science with 5+ years of industry experience
  • 5+ years of technical project management experience
  • 4+ years of experience working hands-on with hardware or software technical projects


  • Master’s degree in an engineering field
  • Technical project management and master scheduling experience
  • Proficiency in or hands-on professional experience with launch vehicle and/or spacecraft integration along with operations in 100,000 class or cleaner cleanrooms
  • 5+ years of experience working with government, NASA, or commercial launch contract
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills with direct experience negotiating technical deliverables or scope
  • Excellent negotiation, conflict resolution, and leadership skills.
  • Experience working with cross-functional team and external customers.
  • Highly detail oriented, diligent, hard working with excellent customer interface skills
  • Passion for advancing the commercial space industry.
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced, autonomously driven, and demanding start-up atmosphere
  • Ability to become certified to operate equipment such as aerial lifts, fork lifts, and overhead cranes


  • Ability to obtain a Top Secret or Top Secret SCI clearance is preferred. 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 travel to launch sites, test sites, other SpaceX offices, and customer locations as needed (up to 25%).
  • Ability to pass Air Force background checks for Vandenberg.
  • Must be willing to work long hours and occasional weekends when necessary to support launch and critical project timelines.
  • Must be able to lift a minimum of 35 lbs. unassisted.
  • Lifting, standing, climbing, bending, grasping, sitting, pulling, pushing, stooping, stretching, and carrying are generally required to perform the functions of this position.
  • Must be willing to operate heavy machinery.
  • Flight hardware is built in tight quarters - physical dexterity is required.
  • Occasionally exposed to work in extreme outdoor environments – heat, cold, rain, ice.
  • Work performed in an environment requiring exposure to fumes, odors, and noise.
Pay Range:
Mission Manager: $125,000.00 - $175,000.00/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.