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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: 2020-11-03

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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 Solar System and Exploration Missions Division, Mission Operations Department, Directorate of Operations

The Solar System and Exploration Missions Division is responsible for the design, implementation and operations of the mission operations ground segment and the spacecraft operations for ESA missions that travel in interplanetary space, typically from start of phase B through in-flight commissioning to routine mission operations until the end of mission.


You will initially be assigned to the BepiColombo Mission Operations Unit within the Solar System and Exploration Missions Division and will report hierarchically to the Head of Unit and functionally to the mission’s Spacecraft Operations Manager, if different from the H/Unit.

Your tasks will include the following:

  • assisting the SOM in the definition, preparation and execution of mission operations assigned to the Unit, including nominal, special and contingency operations, spacecraft and ground segment anomaly investigation and resolution, and performance evaluation and reporting;
  • performing the acting SOM role when delegated;
  • assisting the SOM in the specification, development, validation, maintenance and evolution of the ground segment systems and operational products required to conduct mission operations;
  • interfacing with other areas within the Agency, industry, the user community, external centres and/or agencies on all aspects related to the area of responsibility;
  • providing support to the SOM / Head of Unit in discharging the Unit’s mandate and preparing for new missions to be operated by the Unit(s)/Division. This may include participation in reviews, preparations and operations of other missions delegated to the Unit, Division or Department and support to other D/OPS or ESA activities.
Technical competencies
General background and specific experience in the technical domains covered by the position
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

A Master's degree in engineering or physics.

Additional requirements

Experience in mission operations and associated software systems 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 3 November 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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