Spacecraft Operations Engineer

Darmstadt, Germany

Full Time

22 days ago

Job description


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. 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.


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


ESOC, Darmstadt, Germany  


Spacecraft Operations Engineer in the Astronomy and Fundamental Physics Missions Division, Mission Operations Department, Directorate of Operations.

The Astronomy and Fundamental Physics Mission Division is responsible for the design, implementation and operations of the mission operations ground segment and the spacecraft operations for Science and selected Space Safety programme missions in the area of operations, typically from the start of phase B through in-flight commissioning to routine mission operations until the end of mission.


You will initially be assigned to the XMM-Newton Mission Operations Unit within the Astronomy and Fundamental Physics Missions Division, which supports XMM/Integral and other selected Science missions not operated at ESOC (such as Smile and CHEOPS). You will report hierarchically to the Head of Unit and functionally to the mission’s Spacecraft Operations Manager (SOM), if different from the Head of 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;
  • Acting as SOM when the role is 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 for all aspects related to your area of responsibility;
  • If required, providing expertise and support to other areas within the Agency, industry, the user community, external centres and/or agencies in the domains of mission operations, ground segment and system validation, and space-to-ground interfaces;
  • 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, the Division or the Department, and support for other Directorate 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

Experience in both spacecraft platform and subsystem operations is required. Experience with ground segment operations, mission planning and scheduling aspects would be considered an asset.

Flexibility, adaptability and task prioritisation will be necessary to deal with a multi-subject/multi-project operational environment.

Other information

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

For further information please visit: Professionals, What we offer and FAQ   


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.     

Applicants must be eligible to access technology and hardware which is subject to European and US export control regulations.

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 [email protected].


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, Slovakia 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 conducted by an external background screening service. 


In principle, recruitment will be within the advertised grade band (A2-A4). However, if the selected candidate has less than four years of relevant professional experience following the completion of the master’s degree, the position may be filled at A1 level. 

*Member States, Associate Members or Cooperating States.

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