👷 Automation and Controls Engineer, Droneship

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ground support

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 recovery engineer focused on droneship operations, you will be responsible for the mission readiness and success of the SpaceX landing zones and droneship fleet. In this role, you will work with the team supporting offshore operations to troubleshoot, plan repairs, and verify mission readiness of all stage 1 recovery ground support equipment. You will be responsible for developing new concepts of operations for vehicle recovery and processing, writing test plans and procedures to improve recovery efficiency to meet a blistering launch cadence, and taking extreme ownership over the ground support equipment and droneship systems to successfully recover and safe landed Falcon 9 boosters.


  • Troubleshoot and repair droneship and support boat systems in a timely manner to ensure mission readiness and meet the demands of a rapid launch cadence
  • Work to improve droneship reliability and recycle efficiency to reliably meet a 3-day recycle window. This includes writing and implementing preventative maintenance procedures and routines, automating departure readiness checkouts, and developing and implementing design improvements
  • Drive design improvements to attain completely autonomous droneship recovery mission capability, requiring no personnel to board the vessel at any point
  • Provide on-mission support in troubleshooting equipment at sea when necessary
  • Provide offshore engineering support when necessary, including spending a week or more at sea
  • Gap fill resource shortages on other recovery operations which could include fairing or Dragon recovery


  • Bachelor's degree in an engineering, physics, or computer science
  • 2+ years of experience building, maintaining, modifying, and/or operating automation and controls systems


  • 2+ years of hands-on experience building, maintaining, modifying, and operating high quality electrical control panels and electro-mechanical systems
  • Professional experience planning, executing and improving operations involving more than 10 personnel
  • Professional experience in writing test plans and test procedures
  • Professional experience with complex, multi-disciplinary system assemblies
  • Professional experience with creating and reading electrical schematics
  • Professional experience with data acquisition and control systems
  • Professional experience with instrumentation, sensors, and actuators
  • Professional experience with industrial control systems (PLCs, motor drives)
  • Professional experience with PLC programming (Siemens TIA Portal & Beckhoff TwinCat 3)
  • Professional experience with industrial networking and protocols
  • Professional experience with programming languages (Python, OOP)


  • Must be available for all shifts, extended hours, and/or weekends as needed
  • Must be able to lift up to 25 lbs unassisted
  • Must be able to work outdoors and in maritime environments
  • Must be able to support offshore operations, including working recovery missions at sea
  • Must be able to pass Air Force background checks for Cape Canaveral and Vandenberg


  • To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, including the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) you must be a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident of the U.S., protected individual as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3), or 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.



United States, Cape Canaveral, FL

Posted a month ago