Principal Software Engineer (Spacecraft Flight Software)


Sierra Space, based in Louisville, Colorado with operations in Madison, Wisconsin, Durham, North Carolina, and Kennedy Space Center, Florida, designs and manufactures advanced spacecraft, satellites, propulsion and environmental systems, spacecraft subsystems and components for the U.S. government (including NASA), commercial customers and international organizations. Learn more about Sierra Space

The Principal Software Engineer participates in the design and development of flight software to support ongoing and future small satellite programs. This individual must have a strong working knowledge of object-oriented design using the C and C++ languages, and must have a strong background in deploying and testing flight code on embedded processors. ย The ideal candidate will have recent experience with at least one real-time operating system (such as VxWorks), and be familiar with both asymmetric and symmetric multiprocessing architectures. ย The candidate must also be comfortable working in an Agile Scrum environment. ย The Principal Software Engineer will be comfortable and capable of being the technical lead for software work teams.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Assess new spacecraft designs to determine detailed, low-level software requirements
  • Conducts multidisciplinary research and collaborates with equipment designers and/or hardware engineers in the planning, design, development, and utilization of electronic data processing systems for product and commercial software
  • Determines computer user needs; analyzes system capabilities to resolve problems on program intent, output requirements, input data acquisition, programming techniques and controls; prepares operating instructions; designs and develops compilers and assemblers, utility programs, and operating systems
  • Estimate cost and schedule for spacecraft flight software development activities
  • Ability to oversee subcontracted efforts
  • Ability to provide technical leadership to small work teams
  • Ability to trade multiple approaches to meeting mission requirements to find the best fit based on varying criteria
  • Develop embedded flight code using standard RTOS runtime components and development tools
  • Support functional testing of completed software items
  • Originate software architecture documents, verification and validation plans, procedures, reports, and other documentation in support of flight software design and development activities
  • Ensure compliance of flight software designs with Engineering performance specifications
  • Execute spacecraft flight software design and development activities consistent with Customer quality, cost, and schedule requirements
  • Read and interpret technical specifications
  • Prepare material for and present technical information at design reviews
  • Work with other engineers to implement operating procedures, resolve system issues, and provide required technical information
  • Understand, plan, and execute technical activities in accordance with SNC policies, procedures, and work instructions


  • Bachelor's of Science degree Computer Science, Software Engineering or other related discipline and typically 14 or more years of relevant experience
  • Advanced capabilities using Computer Aided Engineering tools
  • Demonstrated knowledge of engineering principles and practices
  • Experience working in multi-disciplinary teams


  • Active US Government security clearance
  • Domain expertise in Flight Software or Guidance, Navigation and Control (GN&C) Flight Software, spacecraft Integration and Test (I&T), spacecraft operations
  • Tools expertise: ย C/C++, Python, MATLAB, Simulink, STK, DOORS, Rhapsody, DXL, JIRA, Excel VBA
  • Certified through Scrum Alliance for Product Owner or Scrum Master
  • Experience working on complex systems
  • Proficient with data structures

Important Notice:
This position requires the ability to obtain and maintain a Top Secret U.S. Security Clearance. U.S. Citizenship status is required as this position needs an active U.S. Security Clearance for employment. Non-U.S. Citizens may not be eligible to obtain a security clearance. The Department of Defense Consolidated Adjudications Facility (DoD CAF), a federal government agency, handles the adjudicative aspects of the security clearance eligibility process for industry applicants. Adjudicative factors which affect the outcome of the eligibility determination include, but are not limited to, allegiance to the U.S., foreign influence, foreign preference, criminal conduct, security violations and illegal drug use.

Physical/Mental/Emotional Requirements:

  • Frequently walk, sit, stand, climb stairs and steps
  • Frequently repeat same hand, arm, and finger motion many times to include finger and hand dexterity
  • Rarely lifting or carrying up to 20 lbs.

Working Conditions:

  • Rarely exposed to outdoor elements (high/low temperatures, sun, rain/snow, etc.)
  • Rarely exposed to fumes or hazardous chemicals/materials
  • Rarely exposed to loud noises

Referral Bonus:


Estimated Starting Salary Range: $138,634.92 - $190,623.01

Sierra Space offers annual incentive pay based upon performance that is commensurate with the level of the position.

Sierra Space offers a generous benefit package, including medical, dental, and vision plans, 401(k) with 150% match up to 8%, life insurance, 3 weeks paid time off, tuition reimbursement, and more.

At Sierra Space, our mission is to dream, innovate, inspire and empower the next generation to transform humanity through technology and imagination. As an Equal Opportunity Employer, we welcome our employees to bring their whole selves to their work. Sierra Space is committed to fostering an inclusive, accepting, and diverse environment free of discrimination on the basis of race, color, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or status as a protected veteran. Contributions to Sierra Space come in many shapes and styles, and we believe diversity in our workforce fosters new and greater ways to dream, innovate, and inspire.

Sierra Space logo
Sierra Space
United States, Louisville, CO
Posted 10d ago
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