Space Vehicle Trajectory Optimization Engineer

    • El Segundo, CA

Requisition ID: 52959

All Locations: Colorado Springs, CO (Colorado); El Segundo, CA (California)

A trusted partner. A national resource. A leader in national security space. We are THE Aerospace Corporation. A team that takes pride in our readiness to solve some of the most complex technical challenges in existence. With challenges spanning government to commercial, you'll have the unique opportunity to work on projects that are literally evolving our nation's space and launch capabilities. We all share a common passion and aspiration - to serve a mission much bigger than ourselves. When you join our team, you'll be part of a rare collection of thought leaders and game-changing innovators. Are you ready to launch your career?


The Flight Design and Optimization group provides trajectory analysis and optimization support for spacecraft, launch, and reentry vehicles, for Earth-centric and occasionally interplanetary missions. This support will span the range of a system's life-cycle including conceptual design/technology assessment, mission design, pre-launch support for on-contract programs, launch and on-orbit transfer phases including Mission Ops, and eventually end-of-life support. Applicants must possess good communication skills and the ability to perform/learn the Key Functions listed below to support customer needs.

Key Functions

  • Develop and apply advanced techniques for solving a variety of vehicle flight mechanics and astrodynamics (orbital mechanics) problems
  • Perform trajectory simulation and performance optimization of launch vehicles, spacecraft, and reentry vehicles
  • Implement optimization theory to solve problems using calculus of variations approaches, non-linear programming techniques, and/or other appropriate methods
  • Develop methodology and tools for trajectory optimization
  • Analyze and optimize chemical propulsion, low thrust propulsion, and hybrid propulsion orbit transfers
  • Support launch vehicle operations and spacecraft orbit transfer campaigns
  • Implement scripting techniques to perform parametric studies and continuation methodologies
  • Utilize numerical methods to analyze flight mechanics problems including numerical integration, root-solving methods, and coordinate transformations
  • Create clear and informative metrics and visualizations to enable decision-makers to use complex analysis data

The selected candidate may be located in El Segundo, CA., or Colorado Springs, CO.


  • Masters degree in a STEM field or a Bachelor's degree in a STEM fiel and minimum two years of experience in a STEM field
  • Must have the ability to obtain and maintain a DoD security clearance, which is issued by the U.S. government. U.S. citizenship is required to obtain a security clearance
  • Experience or willingness to acquire knowledge in the following areas: flight mechanics, trajectory modeling and simulation, orbit mechanics, optimal control
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills and ability to work with department, program office and customer personnel
  • Proficiency in one or more of the following computer programming languages is desired: C, C++, Fortran, Python, Matlab
  • Experience in or willingness to acquire the ability to function in a Unix environment

  • Master's degree or higher in engineering, physics or mathematics
  • Graduate level course work in orbital mechanics, numerical methods, and optimization
  • Experience with software development, especially for multiprocessing and cluster applications
  • TS/SSBI (SCI) clearance (applicant will be submitted for this clearance upon hiring if they do not currently possess it)

Transcript Requirement

Transcripts are required for this position.

Additional Requisition Details

Clearance Requirement: TS/SSBI

Access: SCI

Polygraph: Counter Intelligence Polygraph

Relocation Available: Yes

Employment Type: Regular

Work Schedule: Full Time

Company Statement

The Aerospace Corporation has provided independent technical and scientific research, development, and advisory services to national security space programs since 1960. We operate a federally funded research and development center (FFRDC) for the United States Air Force and the National Reconnaissance Office, and support all national security space programs. We also apply more than 50 years of experience with space systems to provide critical solutions to technologically complex systems in such areas as communications, shipping, law enforcement, and cyber, among others.

From our inception, our highly skilled technical staff has focused on ensuring the success of every mission and developing the most effective and economic space-related hardware and software in the world. Our greatest asset is the technical expertise of our people. Our state-of-the-art laboratory facilities are staffed by some of the leading scientists in the world.

All Aerospace employees working in organizations with technical responsibilities are required to apply for and maintain at least a Secret clearance. U.S. citizenship is required for those positions.

Equal Opportunity Commitment

The Aerospace Corporation is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. We believe that a diverse workforce creates an environment in which unique ideas are developed and differing perspectives are valued, producing superior customer solutions. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, age, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, color, religion,genetic information, marital status, ancestry, national origin, protected veteran status, physical disability, medical condition, mental disability, or disability status and any other characteristic protected by state or federal law. If you're an individual with a disability or a disabled veteran who needs assistance using our online job search and application tools or need reasonable accommodation to complete the job application process, please contact us by phone at 310.336.5432 or by email You can also reviewThe Equal Employment Opportunity is the Lawposter andthe supplement, as well as thePay Transparency Policy Statement.

Nearest Major Market: Los Angeles
Job Segment: Engineer, Chemical Research, Security Clearance, Aerospace Engineering, Aerospace, Engineering, Government, Aviation

The Aerospace Corporation provides trusted advisory expertise on the total space enterprise.

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