Opportunities at Craft portfolio companies


Mechanical Engineer, Thermal Hardware (Starship)

Swarm Technologies

Swarm Technologies

Other Engineering
hawthorne, ca, usa
Posted on Wednesday, September 6, 2023

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.


SpaceX plans to revolutionize the launch market through use of reusable technology to drive down price and increase accessibility. Atmospheric reentry and the extreme environments associated are one of the top challenges of making a reusable spacecraft. The Thermal Hardware Engineer, Reusable Thermal Protection Systems will tackle some of the most vital systems to protect the spacecraft from reentry while allowing for rapid reuse and economical re-flight.

Engineers in this role will be a part of a team that is responsible for the design, testing, and prototype builds of thermal protection hardware and related manufacturing and integration equipment. This hardware includes but is not limited to the Starship primary heat shield, metallic secondary structure, custom testing apparatuses, and moving mechanical assemblies for both ground and flight use. The engineer must be well rounded to effectively bridge this wide variety of disciplines, but will find commensurate satisfaction from doing so.


  • Drive hardware development for SpaceX's next generation rocket from basic architecture through the design, analysis, prototype, test, and manufacturing phases.
  • Build skills in the design and manufacturing of thermal protection systems, static metallic structures, mechanisms, actuation systems, and fluid systems.
  • Work closely with analysists to develop thermal, vibration, and loading requirements and with manufacturing engineers to optimize designs for rapid manufacturability.
  • Own product delivery timeline through conception, design, assembly and launch.
  • Develop robust and affordable manufacturing processes for reusable thermal protection materials scalable to SpaceX's thermal protection systems usage needs.


  • Bachelor's degree in aerospace, mechanical, or equivalent engineering discipline.
  • Experience with mechanical/electromechanical design and analysis.


  • Master's degree in an engineering or related technical discipline.
  • 3+ years of professional experience in mechanical design and analysis.
  • 2+ years of hands on project experience with complex mechanical systems, preferably as a lead.
  • Demonstrated understanding of structural analysis and failure modes of complex mechanical systems.
  • Experience with computer aided design (CAD) and finite element analysis (FEA) software.
  • Familiarity with common manufacturing methods (machining, welding, hand and power tools, etc.).
  • Self-motivated with strong organizational, written, and oral communication skills.
  • Strong proficiency with common manufacturing methods (machining, welding, hand and power tools, etc.)
  • Understanding of ceramic insulation and heritage ceramic thermal protection materials and systems.
  • Understanding of manufacturing ceramic thermal protection systems and the opportunities to reduce cost and complexity.
  • Understanding of state-of-the-art thermal protection systems and where development and research is heading in the future.


  • Must be available to work extended hours and weekends as needed on an occasional basis.
  • Must be willing to travel to Starbase, TX and Cape Canaveral, FL on a regular basis.
  • Ability to pass Air Force background checks for Cape Canaveral and Vandenberg.


Pay range:
Mechanical Engineer/Level 1: $95,000.00 - $115,000.00/per year
Mechanical Engineer/Level 2: $110,000.00 - $130,000.00/per year

Your actual level and base salary will be determined on a case-by-case basis and may vary based on the following considerations: job-related knowledge and skills, education, and experience.

Base salary is just one part of your total rewards package at SpaceX. You may also be eligible for long-term incentives, in the form of company stock, stock options, or long-term cash awards, as well as potential discretionary bonuses and the ability to purchase additional stock at a discount through an Employee Stock Purchase Plan. You will also receive access to comprehensive medical, vision, and dental coverage, access to a 401(k) retirement plan, short & long-term disability insurance, life insurance, paid parental leave, and various other discounts and perks. You may also accrue 3 weeks of paid vacation & will be eligible for 10 or more paid holidays per year.


  • To conform to U.S. Government export regulations, applicant must be a (i) U.S. citizen or national, (ii) U.S. lawful, permanent resident (aka green card holder), (iii) Refugee under 8 U.S.C. § 1157, or (iv) Asylee under 8 U.S.C. § 1158, or be 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.