Sr. Recovery Operations Engineer



Cape Canaveral, FL, USA
Posted on Thursday, March 28, 2024

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.



  • Lead the execution of Falcon 9 landing and recovery operations while controlling recovery vessels/sites, flight-proven boosters, and launch countdown automation from the control room
  • Optimize, coordinate, and troubleshoot offshore operations remotely with supporting engineering teams and a skilled technician workforce
  • Set up and operate the drone ship systems to facilitate booster landing, crew transfer, and make/break tow operations
  • Complete post-landing safing, fluid system processing, and monitoring of the Falcon 9 first stage
  • Develop automation for SpaceX’s drone ships and Falcon 9 rocket aimed at facilitating airport-like recovery operations in an open, collaborative atmosphere
  • Identify and propose potential upgrades to recovery hardware, software, and procedures – drive continuous improvement in these areas by interfacing regularly with various teams across SpaceX
  • Work closely with Falcon 9 Guidance Navigation & Control, Avionics, and Stage responsible engineers on a per-mission basis to ensure the launch vehicle and recovery assets are configured correctly
  • Contribute to system and procedural development of next generation autonomous vessels and maritime operations


  • Bachelor’s degree in an engineering discipline
  • 5+ years of experience in a test, automation, dynamic positioning, and/or an integration engineering role (internships and design/build/compete project teams qualify)


  • Experience working at a rocket launch/test facility and supporting launch/test campaigns
  • Experience in control and monitoring of complex automated systems and risk assessment/reduction of the system
  • Experience working on projects that involve the integration of fluid, electrical, mechanical, and software systems
  • Experience testing and operating with or around hazardous systems (high pressure, high energy, hazardous gases and fluids, etc.)
  • Familiarity with instrumentation and control components (pressure transducers, thermocouples, RTDs, strain gauges, accelerometers, flow meters, load cells, relays, solenoid, pneumatic valves)
  • Strong work ethic and drive to succeed balanced with the ability to work effectively in a team environment
  • Able to work in a fast paced, autonomously driven and demanding atmosphere
  • Strong project management skills
  • Able to communicate clearly and accurately with a wide range of people
  • Advanced degree in an engineering discipline


  • Ability to pass Air Force background check for Cape Canaveral
  • Flight hardware typically is built in tight quarters and physical dexterity is required
  • Ability to perform job duties that require standing, kneeling, crouching, twisting upper body, working in cramped positions in small openings and climbing hand over hand
  • May be exposed to work in extreme outdoor environments – heat, cold, rain
  • Schedule varies depending on site operational needs; flexibility required
  • Occasional travel to other SpaceX sites, as needed; ~5%


Pay range:
Recovery Operations Engineer/Senior: $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.