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Spacecraft Operations Engineer (for 2 posts)

Darmstadt (Germany)

  • Organization: ESA - European Space Agency
  • Location: Darmstadt (Germany)
  • Grade: Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Operations and Administrations
    • Engineering
    • Outer space and satellite technology
  • Closing Date: 2021-11-05

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Vacancies in the Directorate of Operations.


ESA is an equal opportunity employer, committed to achieving diversity within the workforce and creating an inclusive working environment. We therefore welcome applications from all qualified candidates irrespective of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, beliefs, age, disability or other characteristics. Applications from women are encouraged.


These posts are classified A2-A4 on the Coordinated Organisations’ salary scale.


ESOC, Darmstadt, Germany  



One Spacecraft Operations Engineer in the Biomass/Flex Mission Operations Unit and one Spacecraft Operations Engineer in the Sentinels Altimetry & Atmospheric Missions Operations Unit, 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 spacecraft operations for all ESA Earth observation satellites and entrusted Copernicus missions, typically from the start of Phase B through in-flight commissioning to routine mission operations and until the end of mission.


If appointed to either of these posts, you will initially be assigned to either the Biomass/Flex Mission Operations Unit or the Sentinels Altimetry & Atmospheric Missions Operations Unit within the Earth Observation Missions Division and will report hierarchically to the respective Head of Unit and functionally to the SOMs (Spacecraft Operations Managers) of the Unit.


Your tasks will include the following:

  • Assisting the SOM in the definition, preparation and execution of the mission operations assigned to the Unit, including nominal, special and contingency operations, spacecraft and ground segment anomaly investigation and resolution, performance evaluation and reporting;
  • Serving as acting SOM when delegated;
  • Assisting the SOM in the specification, development, validation, maintenance and evolution of the ground segment systems and operational products required in order to conduct mission operations;
  • Interfacing with other areas within the Agency, industry, the user community, external centres and/or agencies for all aspects related to your area of responsibility;
  • Providing support to the assigned SOM/Head of Unit in discharging the Unit’s mandate and preparing for new missions to be operated by the Unit/Division. This may include participating in reviews, preparations and operations of other missions delegated to the Unit, the Division or the Department and supporting 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

Result Orientation
Operational Efficiency
Fostering Cooperation
Relationship Management
Continuous Improvement 
Forward Thinking


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

Additional requirements

Demonstrated practical experience over several years in spacecraft operations is essential. Knowledge of Earth observation projects and in particular of missions of the Unit will be considered 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.     


The Agency may require applicants to undergo selection tests.


At the Agency we value diversity and we welcome people with disabilities.  Whenever possible, we seek to accommodate individuals with disabilities by providing the necessary support at the workplace.  The Human Resources Department can also provide assistance during the recruitment process. If you would like to discuss this further please contact us 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, Lithuania 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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