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Head of Ariane 5 and Future Preparation

Paris (France)

  • Organization: ESA - European Space Agency
  • Location: Paris (France)
  • Grade: A6 - Grade band - Senior Executive level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Managerial positions
    • Outer space and satellite technology
  • Closing Date: 2020-11-06

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Vacancy in the Directorate of Space Transportation.

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

Head of Ariane 5 and Future Preparation

This post is classified A6 of the Coordinated Organisations’ salary scale.

ESA Headquarters, Paris, France  


As Head of Ariane 5 and Future Preparation, you will be responsible for the overall technical coherence of Ariane 5 launch system exploitation while managing the Future Space Transportation preparation unit, which will conduct strategy-driven system studies and establish related technology roadmaps, as well as prepare the future of space transportation development activities, namely through demonstrators.*

*You will be responsible for mission adaptations and support to CLSP until completion of the JWST, and, regarding Ariane 6, for conduct of the activities related to Ariane 6 exploitation accompaniment (MQO, exploitation HLR monitoring) until end-2020 and then for handover to Flight Programmes (STS-P.)


Duties of the Head of Ariane 5 and Future Preparation:

  • implementing all activities related to fulfilling the Agency's Ariane 5 exploitation mandate (except Industrial Quality Surveillance);
  • managing the technical and programmatic implementation of the Ariane 5 launcher complementary development and exploitation accompaniment activities (except MCO);
  • conducting negotiations and overseeing administration of the industrial contracts related to procurements under your responsibility;
  • defining the resources needed to implement Ariane 5 Classical exploitation accompaniment activities (other than MCO) and the Agency’s above-mentioned Ariane 5 exploitation activities, including the assistance to be provided to the project teams by support Directorates, public institutions in the participating States and other external support;
  • leading the implementation of FLPP Core Element, including related demonstrators for future Space Transportation Systems and Products;
  • leading the FLPP - Themis / Reusability Element;
  • implementing the FLPP - Prometheus Element until handover to development (post-MF Ariane 6) conducting system studies and drawing up technology roadmaps based on strategy-driven guidelines; ensuring technical analysis of the use of existing technologies and capacities for a use-case beyond LEO and preparing a programme proposal related to space transportation building blocks in support of the European Space Exploration Programme;
  • supporting the assessment of the proper coherence of all technologies related to space transportation systems and products, including technology policy and harmonisation;
  • preparing new elements and follow-on activities for the Future Launchers Preparatory Programme (FLPP);
  • supporting the Director as a member of the Space Transportation Management Board (STMB), responsible for coherent preparation, planning, implementation, resource management and review of all ESA space transportation programmes and activities.

In particular, in supporting preparation of the 2022 Ministerial:

  • supporting the STS vision with concept studies and elements for the STS legal framework; recommending to D/STS a comprehensive, integrated evolution of Ariane and associated planning, drawing full benefit from Space19+ programmatic decisions, including preparation of product characteristics, roadmaps and programme elements;
  • defining and managing task forces to ensure maturation of the topics, adhesion of stakeholders and timely availability of the elements;
  • collecting, structuring and orienting Member States’ interests;
  • identifying challenges, strengths, weaknesses, risks, benefits and opportunities; supporting D/STS on all future space transportation matters;
  • preparing and justifying future high-level requirements: objectives, technical requirements, programmatic requirements, development constraints, upgrade potential;
  • preparing the main elements of a programme proposal for post-Ariane 6 preparatory activities: background, motivation, context, options, objectives, structure, content and key elements, legal, financial and organisation aspects, risks, planning and open points;
  • preparing a post-Ariane 6 Preparatory Programme Proposal: background, context, motivation, implementation approach and objectives, content, organisational and financial aspects; preparing a post-Ariane 6 Preparatory Programme Declaration: objectives, content and financial provisions;
  • preparing Implementing Rules for the post-Ariane 6 Preparatory Programme.
Technical competencies
Excellent overall understanding of the global and European space transportation sector in all dimensions
Experience in the management and development of launch systems and related technologies
Interaction with European space industry at the highest level, including contract negotiation
Project and technical management
Leadership competencies
Strategic vision & business context
Developing & motivating people
Behavioural competencies
Planning & Organisation

You should have a Master’s degree in a relevant discipline. 

Additional requirements

As a general requirement for any position at managerial level within ESA, you are expected to have:
• proven experience of leading, motivating and developing a team
• the ability to provide strategic direction to the individuals and teams within the Department and related team objectives to the overall and evolving organisational goals and context
• the ability to drive performance and foster cooperation within and across teams throughout the organisation
• demonstrated excellent leadership, relationship management and communication skills, both oral and written
• a proven track record in representing the Agency’s interests to external interfaces
• excellent cognitive, analytical, delegation, planning and organisational skills
• the ability to anticipate problems, solve complex issues and relate situations to their context
• the ability to reach solution-oriented, pragmatic and timely decisions of high standard and integrity as well as to support others (team members, upper management, other stakeholders) in this process.
Previous experience of managing managers and multiple teams, as well as experience outside of the candidate's home country and in diverse functional areas relevant to the activities of ESA, is an asset.

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.  

Please note that applicants may be required to undergo aptitude testing, including recognised psychometric testing as well as problem solving and decision-making exercises.  

The closing date for applications is Friday, 6 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.

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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