Mechanical Engineer I - Ground Support Equipment - Dream Chaser

space station
flight systems
ground support
customer support

We are a diverse team of collaborators, doers, and problem-solvers who are relentlessly committed to a culture of safety. This position will directly impact the history of space exploration and will require your commitment and detailed attention towards safe and repeatable space flight. Join us in lowering the cost of access to space and enabling our company’s vision of millions of people living and working in space to benefit Earth.

Sierra Space, based in Louisville, Colorado with operations in Madison, Wisconsin and Durham, North Carolina, 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

As part of a diverse and hardworking team of experts, you will:

  • Develop concept of operations to facilitate efficient and safe processing of flight hardware

  • Author and execute work instructions for readying spacecraft for launch operations

  • Participate in integrated vehicle testing, and closeout operations

  • Identify operational needs and translate them into custom support hardware

  • Support the production team through audit and compliance reviews

  • As part of the Ground Operations group you will work as part of a highly skilled team reporting to Launch and Recovery Systems.

  • Success in this role will be dependent on strong hands-on experience, attention to detail, and excellent people skills.


Primary Responsibilities:

Technical Lead

  • Act as ground processing technical representative interfacing with both internal and external teams.

  • Support in the identification, development, and implementation of unique ground support equipment (mechanical, electrical, pneumatic, etc) to meet dynamic production and launch requirements.

  • Work with technicians to utilize fabricated tooling and support equipment to execute procedures in support of both flight and non-flight hardware processing.

  • Assist with managing budget schedule associated with launch manifests.


  • Develop plans, processes, and procedures to support operations, integration, and launch.

  • Develop work instructions and work plans to safely and effectively utilize ground support equipment.

  • Will be responsible for creation, implementation and and updating of work instructions for processing flight hardware.

  • Write and review technical work instructions developed for maintenance, modification, and/or fabrication of ground support equipment.

  • Develop testing and validation documentation for mechanical and electrical flight systems and associated ground support equipment, assuring regulatory and industry compliance.

  • Review and approve processing procedures, and equipment use cases, for compliance with applicable processing facility requirements.


  • Closely collaborate with customer and launch provider technical and operational teams to define requirements and develop/implement schedules and support plans for spacecraft operations.

  • Work with customers to define the hardware processing flow, identifying equipment, resources, and staffing requirements.

  • This includes identifying work areas and flows, logistics, and resource requirements. Additionally the individual will be responsible for identifying hazards and hazard mitigations for approved operational plans.

Customer Support

  • Support internal and external customers in development of spacecraft/payload process planning, handling assembly and test processes from receipt to delivery.

  • Support internal and external customers through the design lifecycle and into fabrication for contracted end items.

  • Support customers with processing floor operations flight hardware through delivery to the launch provider as contracted.

  • Assist with hands-on assembly, integration between facility and customer equipment, including mechanical, hydraulic, and pneumatic systems.



  • Bachelor's of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering or related discipline and typically 0-3 or more years of relevant experience

  • Conceptual knowledge of engineering principles and practices

  • Experience with Computer Aided Engineering tools

  • Operational or hands-on experience in fast-paced dynamic production or operations environment

  • Familiarity with working in multi-disciplinary design and development teams


  • 5-8 years of experience with spacecraft/payload operations, small/cube Sats, integration, manufacturing, or test environment working on electrical, fluid and mechanical systems. 

  • Background in the Aerospace and Defense Industry

  • Experience with Computer Aided Engineering tools

  • Experience with use or operation of heavy equipment and cranes

  • Experience with spacecraft or aircraft operations

  • Cleanroom operations and requirements, ESD, FOD

  • Lifting handling GSE, environmental control systems operations, monitoring instrumentation 

  • Developing and executing processing operations procedures

  • Test conductor during lift operations, vehicle powered-on internal checkouts, at test consoles during hardware in the loop tests or comprehensive system tests. To include real-time troubleshooting

  • Project management/scheduling working with Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, & Outlook, VISIO, MS Project), EVM, KPIs, QBDs

  • The ability to obtain and maintain a Security Clearance may be required Learn more about the background check process for Security Clearances


To conform to U.S. Government international trade regulations, applicant 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 or U.S. Department of Commerce.
With 30+ years of proven spaceflight heritage, Sierra Space has provided more than 4,000 space systems, subsystems and components to customers worldwide, and participated in more than 500 missions to space, including to Mars. The company has technology in production and in development to enable space habitats for short- and long-duration space travel, a fleet of Dream Chaser spaceplanes, and the first free-flying commercial space station. Please visit to learn more about Sierra Space, its business areas, capabilities, programs, products and services.  

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: $68,926.06 - $94,773.33

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 2 months ago
Job offer closed
If you can, mention you found the job on Rocket Crew, it helps us get more companies to post here, thanks!
Tired of sending resumes?
Create a Talent profile and let companies reach out to you
Create Profile
🛰️ Want to find your dream job in the Space industry?
Get a weekly email of the best New Space jobs!