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Young Graduate Trainee for Space Debris

  • Organization: ESA - European Space Agency
  • Location:
  • Grade: F1 - Young Graduate Trainee - Junior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Outer space and satellite technology
  • Closing Date: 2019-12-15

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Young Graduate Traineeship Opportunity in the Directorate of Operations.

ESA is an equal opportunity employer, committed to achieving diversity within the workforce and creating an inclusive working environment. Applications from women are encouraged.

Young Graduate Trainee for Space Debris

This post is classified F1.


ESOC, Darmstadt, Germany 

Our team and mission

The Space Debris Office is a part of the Space Safety Office in the Directorate of Operations and constitutes the focal point for all ESA space debris activities.

The Office is coordinating the Agency’s space debris and meteoroid research activities and is responsible for all space debris operational and analysis services in support of ESA missions and ESA cooperation at inter-agency level. Its work is based on a large set of operational and scientific analysis software that is developed, maintained and operated under its control.

The related activities cover:

• characterisation of the space debris environment and its evolution

• impact risk analysis

• space debris mitigation

• collision risk prediction and collision avoidance manoeuvre planning

• re-entry forecasts and re-entry risk predictions

• maintenance of a database of about 50,000 objects in space

Current activities also cover providing expert support to ESA’s Clean Space Initiative which encompasses, besides activities in the areas of eco-design and green technologies, technological development and studies in the areas of space debris mitigation and remediation (active removal of space debris objects). Furthermore, the Office has a key role in leading all space debris activities under ESA’s Space Situational Awareness (SSA) Programme and its evolution into the proposed Space Safety Programme.

Candidates interested are encouraged to visit the ESA website:

Field(s) of activity

You will be involved in activities in analyses of the status and future evolution of the space debris environment and will support related activities under the Space Safety Programme. You will be assigned to work on the analysis of mitigation and remediation techniques, evaluation of new concepts and the development and application of the necessary means to verify and qualify such concepts. You will have the opportunity to be involved in operational activities such as collision avoidance and re-entry predictions. You will attend regular team meetings and support the coordination of activities within a group of experts on space debris matters within the scope of debris monitoring.

You will update existing analysis S/W and underlying databases (e.g. ESA’s DISCOS database providing the information underlying re-entry prediction and collision avoidance). With that work you will contribute to the improvement of the capabilities of the operational environment and to the verification of the debris mitigation measures for ESA missions.

You will work in a small team on the activities described above, coordinated by the Office, and will have the opportunity to actively contribute to on-going projects and research activities, develop new tools and present results to an international community.

Technical competencies
Knowledge of relevant technical domains
Relevant experience gained during internships/project work
Breadth of exposure coming from past and/or current research/activities
Knowledge of ESA and its programmes/projects
Behavioural competencies
Self Motivation
Continuous Learning
Cross-Cultural Sensitivity

You should have just completed, or be in the final year of a university course at Master's level (or equivalent) in a technical or scientific discipline.

Additional requirements

You should have a good knowledge of orbital mechanics and mathematics in general, should be familiar with UNIX/LINUX operating environments, and with scientific programming (e.g. programming in FORTRAN or Python). A good experience in system and software engineering, a spirit for defining, organising and following up study work and proven documentation skills will be considered as an asset, as well as basic knowledge in project management.

The working languages of the Agency are English and French. A good knowledge of one of these is required. Knowledge of another Member State language would be an asset.

You should demonstrate good interpersonal skills and the capacity to work both independently and as part of a team.

During the interview your motivation and overall professional perspective/career goals will also be explored.

Other information

For behavioural competencies expected from ESA staff in general, please refer to the ESA Competency Framework.

The closing date for applications is  15 December 2019.

If you require support with your application due to a disability, please email


Please note that applications are only considered from nationals of one of the following States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Nationals from Slovenia, as an Associate Member, or Canada as a Cooperating State, can apply as well as those from Bulgaria, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovakia as European Cooperating States (ECS).

Priority will first be given to candidates from under-represented Member States.

In accordance with the European Space Agency’s security procedures and as part of the selection process, successful candidates will be required to undergo basic screening before appointment

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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