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Job Details

Requisition Number 17-0104
Post Date 5/26/2017
Title Spacecraft Systems Engineer
City Baltimore
State MD
Description The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), located on the Johns Hopkins University Campus in Baltimore, MD, is the science operations center for the Hubble Space Telescope and the science and mission operations center for the James Webb Space Telescope, scheduled to launch in October, 2018. The Flight Operations Team (FOT) in the Operations and Engineering Division is seeking an individual for the position of Spacecraft Systems Engineer to support the JWST mission.

The Spacecraft Systems Engineer (SSE) provides Spacecraft (SC) subsystem expertise to the JWST Flight Operations Team. In conjunction with the FOT Engineers and other engineering staff, the SSE provides the day-to-day analysis of the telemetry and statistical trends to ensure the JWST Spacecraft is operating within nominal ranges. The SSE also provides the initial troubleshooting and response to flight segment anomalies. The team of subsystem engineers (Instrument and Spacecraft) will ensure maintenance and upkeep of operations products (scripts, pages and tools) and procedures used to conduct flight operations for the life of the mission.

The Spacecraft Systems Engineer positions are 8-hour day positions with the expectation that during launch, commissioning, and other special tests before launch that some shift work and additional hours will be required. In addition, since the position is responsible for anomaly response and troubleshooting, there is an expectation that on-call duties will be performed on a rotating basis.

The team of subsystem engineers (Instrument and Spacecraft) interfaces with the spacecraft development teams and the observatory contractor to negotiate the need for, and timing of, any flight software changes that may be needed throughout the mission.

This position will be a part of the larger JWST FOT. As such, the employee will support the JWST Flight Operations Manager in the planning and development of operational processes/procedures, documents and programmatic reviews in addition to the primary role of Spacecraft Systems Engineer. This position falls within the Operations and Engineering Division of the Space Telescope Science Institute.

During the prelaunch phase of the mission, subsystem engineers will participate in Flight Segment I&T activities to become familiar with the hardware, and operations conducted during testing. This experience will form the core of training for JWST engineers as well as provide the knowledgebase for development of the operations products and procedures required for nominal operations.

• Provide the analysis of the telemetry and statistical trends to ensure the spacecraft subsystems are operating within nominal ranges
• Provide on-call support for anomaly response and troubleshooting
• Interface with SC development teams to coordinate information necessary for the development of operations products (scripts, pages and tools) and processes used to conduct flight operations
• Assist in developing operations products (scripts, pages and tools) and processes used to conduct launch and commissioning operations
• Maintain operations products (scripts, pages and tools) and processes used to conduct flight operations
• Support various Working Groups and Focus Groups related to the SC and general operations or ground system development (e.g. Fault Management, Limited Life, Project Reference Database, Commissioning, etc.)
• Support the development and presentation of flight operations material for project level reviews
• Cross-train in various functions supporting the overall success of the flight operations team
• Support SC and observatory level Integration and Test (I&T) activities, including developing test procedures, scripts, and writing test reports

Candidates require a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in engineering, physics, mathematics, or related physical science or technically related field. Advanced degree in engineering, physics, mathematics, or related physical science is preferred.

Candidates require a minimum of 4+ years of progressively responsible experience in Flight Operations for an operational spacecraft.

Note: Substitution of additional relevant education or experience for stated qualifications may be considered.

• Technical writing experience is required. Must be efficient using standard productivity software and database tools to develop documentation and test results
• In depth knowledge and detailed understanding of flight operations is required
• Experience with a large space-based astronomical observatory with multiple instruments is required
• Experience using a sophisticated telemetry and command system as well as writing procedures using advanced scripting languages to conduct flight operations is required
• Prior pre-mission operations experience and experience in on-orbit activation and commissioning will be considered an asset
• Experience with L2, L1 or deep space operations will be considered an asset
• Familiarity with use and scheduling of the DSN will be considered an asset
• Prior experience in integration and test of spacecraft or instrumentation will be considered an asset
• Prior experience with a Raytheon ECLIPSE based Telemetry and Command System will be considered an asset
• Scripting and operations of observatory simulators will be considered an asset

Candidates must be a US citizen or Permanent Resident. ITAR clearance is required.

TRAVEL: The candidate should assume that local travel to Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) in Greenbelt, Maryland may be required on a regular basis. Additional infrequent travel may be required to support technical reviews/meetings at various domestic locations. During Spacecraft and Observatory level I&T, frequent travel to Northrop Grumman in Redondo Beach, CA may be required.

STScI offers an excellent benefits package, tuition reimbursement, competitive salaries, and a stimulating work environment. Interested candidates are requested to complete an on-line application through our website at or the “Apply Online” link at the bottom of this posting. Please provide a cover letter and resume in the "Resume Upload Section." Please include job #17-0104 in the filename. Applications received by June 30, 2017 will receive full consideration.

AURA, as a leader in the astronomical community, is committed to diversity and inclusion. AURA develops and supports programs that advance our organizational commitment to diversity, broaden participation, and encourage the advancement of diversity throughout the astronomical scientific workforce. Learn more at

As a recipient of U.S. Government funding, AURA is considered a government contractor and is subject to Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action regulations. As an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer, AURA and all of the centers, do not discriminate based on race, sex, color, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity/gender identity expression, lawful political affiliations, veteran status, disability, and/or any other legally protected status under applicable federal, state, and local equal opportunity laws. The statements below as well as the requests for self-identification are required pursuant to these regulations. We encourage your participation in meeting these federal reporting requirements which are included for protection and to assist us in our record keeping and reporting. Your responses are kept strictly confidential.

STScI sees the diversity of our staff as a strategic priority in our desire to create a first-rate scientific community. We reflect that deep commitment in strongly encouraging women, minorities, veterans and disabled individuals to apply for these opportunities.

Veterans, disabled individuals or wounded warriors needing assistance with the employment process can contact us at EOE/AA/M/F/D/V Voted to the Baltimore Magazine Hall of Fame in 2015 – Top 25 Places to Work in Baltimore.

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  • Please view Equal Employment Opportunity Posters provided by OFCCP here.
  • The contractor will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the contractor's legal duty to furnish information. 41 CFR 60-1.35(c)
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