Deep Space Systems Architect - Advanced Development Programs

Job Locations US-WA-Kent
Advanced Development Programs
Job ID


As part of a small, passionate, and accomplished advanced development team, you will be an architect of deep space systems such as propulsion elements, propellant depots, spacecraft, landers, habitats, and various surface systems that support both human and robotic missions. You will help lead small and multi-disciplinary teams to align these system architectures with company strategies, products, and technology maturation plans. You are versed in the challenges, technologies, and solutions that address the space environment, and have knowledge in several disciplines such as propulsion, power, fluids (including cryogenic and storable propellants), avionics, thermal management, mechanisms, navigation and control.


You are adept at managing to a plan, comfortable adjusting it in response to evolving requirements or external constraints, and prioritizing efforts all the while infusing and facilitating creativity and innovation. You are able to clearly describe the vision for proposed architectures to internal and external customers and inspire a team. Ideally, you have direct experience in the development, integration, and flight of a deep space system such as a spacecraft, rover, or lander. Your contributions will directly impact the history of space exploration, and your dedicated commitment and attention to detail will further the cause of safe, affordable spaceflight.


  • Apply heuristic and functional decomposition techniques to scope the design and development of new architectures.
  • Work closely with systems and design engineers to rapidly assess conceptual designs, develop integrated design solutions, and establish system requirements and performance parameters.
  • Develop the concept of operations for a space system that clearly describes what the system is supposed to do without dictating how to do it. 
  • Document system-level architecture, such as states and modes, functional block diagrams, and data flows. 
  • Craft system budgets and technical performance metrics to track key requirements compliance throughout the program lifecycle.
  • Perform resource analysis, trajectory and mission design, and element sizing. 
  • Contribute to subsystem architecture definition through identification and sizing of components and proposing advanced technology pursuits.
  • Develop major system level interfaces, system requirements, and verification as documented in specifications, ICDs, and verification plans.
  • Develop system-level Master Equipment List and time-phased operational resource utilization.
  • Perform system-level Failure Modes, Effects and Criticality Analyses (FMECA). 
  • Perform risk management, risk identification, and risk mitigation.
  • Communicate results to program management and customers.
  • Maintain and report schedule, budget, and technical status.
  • Mentor and technically assist other engineers.


  • Minimum of a B.S. degree in Mechanical, Electrical, or Aerospace engineering or equivalent technical field
  • 15+ years industry experience in the design, development, and flight test of aerospace systems, preferably spacecraft, rovers, and/or landers
  • Versed in the challenges, technologies, and historical system solutions endemic to the space environment
  • Experience in rapid definition of space system requirements and concept definition of space system configurations that span a broad range of mission objectives. 
  • Experience with one or more of the following specialties: flight mechanics, orbital mechanics, FMECA, hazard analysis, operations analysis, cost estimation, mass properties estimation, and subsystem architecture and design (propulsion, structures, mechanisms, avionics, power, navigation, control, fluids, thermal management, ECLSS/human accommodations)
  • Ability to apply judgement, developed through theory and experience, to assess the appropriate level of detail required in modeling to inform trades
  • Experience working collaboratively in small teams on fast-paced projects
  • Leadership and management experience as well as a history of mentoring
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident (current Green Card holder)


  • M.S. degree in Mechanical, Electrical, or Aerospace engineering or equivalent technical field
  • Experience with proposal support and leadership (technical/management volumes, Task Description/Basis–of–Estimate development, etc.)
  • Experience working with and proposing to U.S. Government research agencies (e.g. NASA, AFRL, DARPA)
  • Experience with fault-tolerance strategies and architectures for safety and mission critical systems
  • Experience with development for space-flight environments
  • Experience developing requirements, defining subsystem interfaces (both in-house and between external partners/suppliers), and other systems engineering products and practices
  • Experience across the product life cycle (pre-conceptual design through field support)
  • Proficient with modeling tools and scripting languages such as MATLAB/Simulink, Python, or STK. 
  • Familiarity with version control (e.g. git/gitlab, subversion)
  • Experience with collaboration tools such as Confluence and JIRA
  • Working knowledge in the use of 3-D CAD tools (ProEngineer/Creo is preferred) and configuration and data management software (Windchill, DOORS)
  • Familiarity with formal risk and opportunity management processes



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