The Aerospace Corporation
In an era of dynamic change, Aerospace is addressing the most complex challenges in space.
Washington DC

SDA Launch Support Engineer at The Aerospace Corporation (Washington DC)

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Employer Provided Salary: $123,000-$211,500 Annually
Salary data is provided by the employer. Please note this is not a guarantee of compensation.

The Aerospace Corporation is the trusted partner to the nation's space programs, solving the hardest problems and providing unmatched technical expertise. As the operator of a federally funded research and development center (FFRDC), we are broadly engaged across all aspects of space- delivering innovative solutions that span satellite, launch, ground, and cyber systems for defense, civil and commercial customers. When you join our team, you'll be part of a special collection of problem solvers, thought leaders, and innovators. Join us and take your place in space.
At Aerospace, we are committed to providing an inclusive and diverse workplace for all employees to share in our common passion and aspiration - to carry out a mission much bigger than ourselves.
The Space Development Agency (SDA) was established in 2019 by the Department of Defense to define and monitor the Department's future threat-driven space architecture and accelerate the development and fielding of new military space capabilities necessary to ensure our technological and military advantage in space for national defense.
Aerospace support for the SDA resides within Defense Systems Operations (DSO) and the National Space Systems Engineering Division, which provides decision support at the enterprise level to senior Aerospace customers in the Pentagon, as well as helping to connect and align customers and Aerospace across the space enterprise. This position supports SDA's Support Cell, in which the selected candidate will provide expertise in space launch and launch integration, to include spacecraft environmental testing, spacecraft and launch vehicle integration, spacecraft and launch vehicle processing activities at the launch site, and on-console launch day operations.
This position can be hybrid (part-time in an office at an Aerospace or SDA facility and part-time teleworking from home) or full-time on-site. The candidate must be able to access an Aerospace facility or SDA facility that provides TS/SCI access for on-site work. Since access to a SCIF is required, the job location could be El Segundo, Chantilly, Albuquerque, Colorado Springs, etc. If residing outside of Washington, D.C., the position requires quarterly travel to the DC area.
What You'll Be Doing

  • This position will provide launch support to the SDA Support Cell Chief and Launch Program Manager, as well as the Tranche-0, Tranche-1, and Tranche-2 Program Directors.
  • The Support Cell provides the launch services for all spacecraft in SDA's Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture (PWSA). The SDA Support Cell Chief reports directly to the SDA Director. This job includes daily interaction with SDA senior government leaders, FFRDCs, SETAs, and UARC personnel across all SDA program cells and mission areas
  • Provide technical assessments of spacecraft environmental test plans and test results as related to launch vehicle acceptance, management of spacecraft and launch vehicle early integration studies and standard integration working groups, review and assessment of launch site spacecraft processing and launch vehicle integration and interface plans, participation in launch site spacecraft processing and launch vehicle integration activities, participation in launch crew exercises, and participation on-console in launch day operations
  • Assist the Government in monitoring contractor execution, provide direct launch systems engineering and subject matter expert (SME) support, and direct ETG SME support to all launch operations, integration, and acquisition efforts
  • Inform strategic planning of future SDA launch requirements trades across various orbit layers and mission elements
  • Apply innovative approaches to spacecraft testing and launch processing
  • Apply commercial best practices, systems engineering, and state-of-the-art launch processing and operations to rapidly prepare and launch SDA spacecraft for the PWSA

What You Need to be Successful
Minimum Requirements:

  • A Bachelor of Science degree in a Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics field
  • 12 or more years of increasingly responsible and related engineering/scientific experience in launch operations
  • Relevant, progressive work experience in spacecraft testing, launch processing activities, and spacecraft-launch vehicle integration
  • Experience in launch day on-console operations
  • Candidates should be able to lead, work, and communicate effectively as part of a team in a fast paced, dynamic environment, reacting quickly and providing products of consistent, high quality
  • High interest, enthusiasm, and motivation in addressing future national space security challenges
  • Demonstrated ability to build and lead cross-functional high-performance teams
  • Ability to build and/or maintain substantive rapport with Aerospace peers and Government customers
  • Demonstrated ability to influence outcomes utilizing objective facts
  • Ability to work with the Aerospace Engineering Technology Group matrix and other Aerospace program offices
  • Experience in systems engineering, risk assessment, and trade space exploration studies
  • Experience directly interfacing with customers and delivering comprehensive assessment products
  • Excellent written communication skills are necessary - can organize complex materials and concepts in a manner that is clear and logical
  • Excellent verbal communication skills are required - clear, concise, persuasive; builds consensus through speaking; polished, professional style
  • Candidate must be willing to travel domestically approximately 20% of the time
  • This position requires the ability to obtain and maintain a TS/SCI security clearance, which is issued by the US government. U.S citizenship is required to obtain a security clearance

How You Can Stand Out
It would be impressive if you have one or more of these:

  • A Masters or PhD degree from an accredited program in a Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics field
  • 15 or more years of experience in space launch and spacecraft processing activities
  • Experience with spacecraft environmental testing activities
  • Direct experience with SpaceX and/or United Launch Alliance (ULA) launch vehicles
  • Multidisciplinary experience including spacecraft and launch vehicle concept design and operation, knowledge of DoD, IC, Civil, and Commercial missions and technologies
  • Direct experience working with SDA and a working knowledge of the SDA architecture, functional Cells, and leadership interactions
  • Current TS/SCI Clearance

We offer a competitive compensation package where you'll be rewarded based on your performance and recognized for the value you bring to our business. The grade-based pay range for this job is listed below. Individual salaries within that range are determined through a wide variety of factors including but not limited to education, experience, knowledge and skills.
(Min - Mid - Max)
$123,000 - $164,625 - $211,500
Pay Basis: Annual
Ways We Reward Our Employees
During your interview process, our team will provide details of our industry-leading benefits.
Benefits vary and are applicable based on Job Type. A few highlights include:

  • Comprehensive health care and wellness plans
  • Paid holidays, sick time, and vacation
  • Standard and alternate work schedules, including telework options
  • 401(k) Plan - Employees receive a total company-paid benefit of 8%, 10%, or 12% of eligible compensation based on years of service and matching contributions; employees are immediately eligible and vested in the plan upon hire
  • Flexible spending accounts
  • Variable pay program for exceptional contributions
  • Relocation assistance
  • Professional growth and development programs to help advance your career
  • Education assistance programs
  • An inclusive work environment built on teamwork, flexibility, and respect

We are all unique, from diverse backgrounds and all walks of life, yet one thing bonds all of us to each other-the belief that we can make a difference. This core belief empowers us to do our best work at The Aerospace Corporation.
Equal Opportunity Commitment
The Aerospace Corporation is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. We believe that a diverse workforce creates an environment in which unique ideas are developed and differing perspectives are valued, producing superior customer solutions. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, age, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, color, religion, genetic information, marital status, ancestry, national origin, protected veteran status, physical disability, medical condition, mental disability, or disability status and any other characteristic protected by state or federal law. If you're an individual with a disability or a disabled veteran who needs assistance using our online job search and application tools or need reasonable accommodation to complete the job application process, please contact us by phone at 310.336.5432 or by email at [email protected]. You can also review Know Your Rights: Workplace Discrimination is Illegal, as well as the Pay Transparency Policy Statement.

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What are The Aerospace Corporation Perks + Benefits

The Aerospace Corporation Benefits Overview

We work in a collaborative and inclusive environment with strong values focused on our mission, innovation, and people. We offer a comprehensive total rewards portfolio with a wide array of employee programs and services. From flexible work schedules to a 401k plan that's top of the industry, we provide the support you need to be your best self at work and at home.

Volunteer in local community
Aerospace conducts a variety of mentoring programs and community efforts, including STEM tours and partnering with colleagues in education, industry, and government.
Partners with nonprofits
Aerospace Cares offers opportunities for employees to volunteer their time or donate to the charity of their choice.
Open door policy
OKR operational model
Team based strategic planning
Flexible work schedule
Full-time employees can work either a standard eight-hour day or a 9/80 schedule with alternate Fridays off.
Remote work program
Aerospace offers complete and partial remote work for qualified positions.
Documented equal pay policy
Dedicated diversity and inclusion staff
Highly diverse management team
With half our board being women or people of color, Aerospace is committed to a continuously more diverse and inclusive workforce.
Mandated unconscious bias training
Mean gender pay gap below 10%
Diversity employee resource groups
Aerospace ERGs were established to bring cultural awareness, enhance career development opportunities, and promote diversity. We currently have 8 ERGs.
Hiring practices that promote diversity
Health Insurance & Wellness Benefits
Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
Set aside pre-tax dollars for eligible healthcare and dependent care expenses.
Disability insurance
Company-paid short and long-term coverage; optional supplemental employee paid, long-term disability coverage available.
Dental insurance
Vision insurance
Health insurance
Life insurance
Company-paid basic and occupational accident; optional supplemental employee-paid life and accident.
Pet insurance
Wellness programs
Team workouts
Mental health benefits
You and your household members are eligible for up to 5 free visits for each personal situation.
Financial & Retirement
Employees are immediately eligible and vested in the plan upon hire.
401(K) matching
Employees receive a total company paid benefit of 8%, 10%, or 12% of eligible compensation based on years of service and matching contributions.
Performance bonus
Charitable contribution matching
Child Care & Parental Leave Benefits
Childcare benefits
Aerospace provides backup child care assistance as well as daycare discount programs.
Generous parental leave
Four weeks of company-paid leave when taken within the first twelve months of the birth, adoption, or foster placement of a child.
Family medical leave
Adoption Assistance
Employees who adopt are eligible for the same 4 weeks of paid parental leave that employees who birth a child or have a foster placement get.
Return-to-work program post parental leave
Company sponsored family events
Vacation & Time Off Benefits
Generous PTO
Aerospace employees receive between 15 and 20 days per year of paid time off based on years of service.
Paid holidays
Paid sick days
Full-time exempt employees receive unlimited sick time.
Office Perks
Commuter benefits
Aerospace has a commuter vanpool program, designated carpool parking, ride-matching services, bicycle commuting support, EV chargers, and public transportation reimbursement.
Company-sponsored happy hours
Happy hours are hosted at their team's discretion, but most teams go once a month.
Onsite office parking
We offer employees free on-site garage and non-garage parking.
Recreational clubs
Relocation assistance
Home-office stipend for remote employees
Onsite gym
Professional Development Benefits
Job training & conferences
Aerospace offers employees professional development opportunities like onsite training courses and the ability to attend job related conferences and seminars.
Tuition reimbursement
Lunch and learns
Promote from within
Mentorship program
Continuing education stipend
Continuing education available during work hours
When you attend any of the company hosted learning sessions, you are paid for those hours spent in class. Aerospace encourages employees to expand their skills by taking these courses.
Online course subscriptions available
Customized development tracks
Paid industry certifications

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