Opportunities at Craft portfolio companies


Operations Engineer (Ground Segment)

Swarm Technologies

Swarm Technologies

hawthorne, ca, usa
Posted on Thursday, January 25, 2024

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.


The SpaceX Ground Segment team is responsible for solving a wide array of communications challenges. We deploy, operate, and support our ever growing worldwide and launch pad network of communications antennas, optical tracking systems, and Starlink telemetry, tracking, and control antennas. We perform real-time operations in mission control for Falcon, Dragon, and Starship missions, while also facilitating NASA flight operations interfaces and network integration, as well as mission control video and communications readiness testing. Additionally, as we begin to design and build the Starship based Human Landing System (HLS), this team is responsible for the developing the communications infrastructure that will be used to communicate with our vehicles and humans on and around the moon!

As an RF Operations Engineer, you will be in mission control for launches and ultimately responsible for the collection of all of the critical telemetry that we need to verify orbital parameters, observe payload deploys, and more. This is an opportunity for impactful problem solving in real time while making data driven decisions that impact the company and launch in profound ways. While not in the control room, you will have the opportunity to build the operational foundation that we require including authoring procedures, writing and testing automation, and doing mission planning for all of the ground communications infrastructure supporting Falcon, Dragon, Starship, and future lunar exploration. You will be in direct control of the ground systems throughout the mission, starting with ground integration through launch and on-orbit operations. You will work with subsystem responsible engineers, software engineers, and electrical design engineers to understand and evaluate how the ground segment assets should be operated and then execute on that vision. Working as a cross disciplinary expert, you will ensure that the software and automation running the full system is safe and reliable. This will require you to make updates to software that not only alerts you to issues but also safely recovers the system autonomously from myriad anomalies, ensuring continued mission success. You will help develop and refine the tool chains needed to make the daily operations more accessible and through a process of continuous improvement and automated data review, you will automate the operations of the system to the point of minimal operator intervention.


  • Perform real-time ground segment operations according to timeline, procedures and flight rules
  • Support Falcon, Dragon, and Starship operations as a member of the flight control team
  • Interface with external partners (private and government) to schedule/test/operate ground-to-space and ground-to-ground communication systems
  • Own procedures, process improvements, configuration files, and scripting necessary for mission success
  • Drive and support automation improvements for flawless execution of simultaneous missions and an increasing manifest with a small team of operators
  • Work closely with hardware and software teams to ensure operational cadence and ease of use requirements are considered in their design
  • Coordinate worldwide telemetry services for day of launch/prelaunch activities
  • Coordinate operator and asset schedules


  • Bachelor's degree in computer science, engineering, math, IT/network operations/security, or science discipline
  • 1+ years of operations experience with spacecraft, ground stations, IT/networks, or other communication systems
  • 1+ years of project or industry experience with RF, controls, spacecraft, IT/networks, and/or communications systems


  • Experience working with government organizations (USAF, NASA, FAA, FCC, NTIA, etc.)
  • Experience working with and organizing technical data with strong attention to detail
  • Experience developing link budgets and other engineering calculations related to system specification and design
  • LEO, MEO, and/or lunar orbit ground station operations and engineering experience
  • Manipulation and use of tracking and orbit determination files, formats, and tools
  • Experience working on technical teams in a rapidly changing, highly demanding environment
  • Solid fundamental knowledge of networks, electronics, math, engineering, and physics
  • Creative approach to problem solving, engineering, and design with exceptional analytical skills
  • Excellent communication skills both written and verbal
  • Experience with Python
  • Ability to work independently and in a team, take initiative, and communicate effectively
  • Familiarity with Linux based operating systems
  • Experience with automating complex systems


  • Ability to pass Air Force background checks for Cape Canaveral and Vandenberg
  • Must be willing to travel as required to domestic and international ground station sites
  • Must be willing to support extended hours and weekends when necessary to support launch and critical project timelines


Pay Range:
RF Operations Engineer/Level I: $100,000.00 - $120,000.00/per year
RF Operations Engineer/Level II: $115,000.00 - $135,000.00/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. Exempt employees are eligible for 5 days of sick leave 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.