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Spacecraft Operations Engineer

Darmstadt (Germany)

  • Organization: ESA - European Space Agency
  • Location: Darmstadt (Germany)
  • Grade: A2/A4 - Grade band - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Operations and Administrations
    • Engineering
    • Outer space and satellite technology
  • Closing Date: 2020-09-22

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Vacancy 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.

Spacecraft Operations Engineer

This post is classified A2-A4 on the Coordinated Organisations’ salary scale.

ESOC, Darmstadt, Germany  


Spacecraft Operations Engineer in the Earth Observation Missions Division, Mission Operations Department, Directorate of Operations.

The Earth Observation Missions Division is responsible for the design, implementation and operations of the flight operations ground segment and the satellite mission operations for all ESA Earth observation satellites and for the entrusted Copernicus/Sentinels missions, typically from start of phase B through in-flight commissioning to routine mission operations until the end of mission.


You will be initially assigned to the Copernicus/Sentinels Radar Imaging Missions Operations Unit within the Earth Observation Missions Division and will report to the Head of Unit.

The tasks will include the following:

  • assisting the Head of Unit and appointed SOM(s) within the Unit in the preparation and execution of operations assigned to the Unit, including Launch and Early Orbit Phase (LEOP), Commissioning, Routine and Disposal phases, as applicable;
  • assisting the Head of Unit and appointed SOM(s) in the development, maintenance and validation of the Flight Operations Segment (FOS) including System Validation Tests (SVT) and Ground Segment Operational Validation (GSOV);
  • analysing and reporting on spacecraft and ground segment performance and implementing trade-off analysis for the maintenance and evolution of the Flight Operations Segment (FOS);
  • interfacing with the ESTEC project group, the PDGS and Mission Management team(s), external partners including Agencies (DLR, CNES, etc.) and industry, for technical matters and review of spacecraft design, operations documentation and performance reports;
  • providing support in the reviews, preparation and future developments of the Copernicus/Sentinels Next Generation and Expansion missions assigned to the Unit (e.g. CIMR, ROSE-L, S1-NG); interfacing with other ESOC divisions for spacecraft operations matters;
  • providing support in the reviews and preparation of other Earth Observation missions delegated to the Earth Observation Missions Division (i.e. Earth Explorers and/or Copernicus/Sentinels);
  • acting as Deputy SOM as required.
Technical competencies
Knowledge of mission, spacecraft and/or payload operations
Understanding of development and maintenance of ground infrastructure and/or software systems
Knowledge of large operations and associated software systems, preferably space-based
Behavioural competencies
Planning & Organisation
Problem Solving
Responsible Decision-Making
Systems & Broader Business Thinking

A Master's degree in engineering or physics is required.

Additional requirements

Knowledge of the Copernicus Programme and the Sentinels Missions is highly desirable.

Other information

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

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.     

The Agency may require applicants to undergo selection tests.

The closing date for applications is 22 September 2020.

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, the United Kingdom and Canada, Latvia and Slovenia.

According to the ESA Convention the recruitment of staff must take into account an adequate distribution of posts among nationals of the ESA Member States. When short-listing for an interview, priority will first be given to internal candidates and secondly to external 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. 

Recruitment will normally be at the first grade in the band (A2); however, if the candidate selected has little or no experience, the position may be filled at A1 level.

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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