Internship/Co-op Fall 2018 (All Locations)


Internship/Co-op Fall 2018 (All Locations)

Hawthorne, CA
  • Responsibilities

    SpaceX was founded under the belief that a future where humanity is out exploring the stars is fundamentally more exciting than one where we are not. Today SpaceX is actively developing the technologies to make this possible, with the ultimate goal of enabling human life on Mars.

    SpaceX is currently seeking talented individuals for our Internship/Co-Op Program across six SpaceX locations. Here at SpaceX, you will obtain invaluable, hands-on technical experience that you can’t learn in a classroom. Our team will help you to roll up your sleeves and apply text book theory and lab experience to creating solutions for real aerospace challenges. The most successful candidates for SpaceX’s Internship/Co-Op Program have a history of significant contributions to hands-on, extracurricular projects in addition to a strong academic record.



    • Cape Canaveral, FL
    • Hawthorne, CA
    • Irvine, CA
    • McGregor, TX
    • Redmond, WA
    • Vandenberg, CA
    • Washington, D.C.


    • Must be currently enrolled at an accredited four-year university or college
    • Business Operations or Software applicants must be currently enrolled at an accredited university or college or within 6 month post-graduation


    • GPA of 3.5 or higher
    • Hands-on experience through lab research, project teams, prior internship or work experience
    • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work effectively in a team environment, accomplishing tasks with limited resources at a rapid pace
    • Intermediate skill level using Windows Operations Systems
    • Intermediate skill level using Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook)


    • Must be able to work full time for a minimum of 12 consecutive weeks beginning in August/September 2018
    • Must pass background check with satisfactory results to SpaceX
    • Candidates applying to opportunities at McGregor, Cape Canaveral and Vandenberg locations must be able to provide own transportation


    • To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, applicant must be a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident of the U.S., protected individual as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3), or eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State. Learn more about ITAR here.

    SpaceX is an Equal Opportunity Employer; employment with SpaceX is governed on the basis of merit, competence and qualifications and will not be influenced in any manner by race, color, religion, gender, national origin/ethnicity, veteran status, disability status, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, mental or physical disability or any other legally protected status.

    Applicants wishing to view a copy of SpaceX’s Affirmative Action Plan for veterans and individuals with disabilities, or applicants requiring reasonable accommodation to the application/interview process should notify the Human Resources Department at (310) 363-6000.



    Cape Canaveral’s location on the southeast coast of the US provides access to a wide range of low and medium inclination orbits frequently used by communications and Earth-observing satellites and by supply missions to the International Space Station. SpaceX operates both Space Launch Complex 40, as well as the historic Launch Complex 39A, which was originally built for the Apollo program. Through the innovation and collaborative effort of the entire Cape Canaveral team, the site supports the launches of both our Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launch vehicles. LC-39A will soon be SpaceX’s primary launch complex for delivering the next generation of astronauts to and from the International Space Station for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

    DRAGON GROUND OPERATIONS: The Crew Dragon Operations team develops novel solutions in human spaceflight operations and reusability. Interns within this group will assist with pre-flight vehicle processing, recovery, and refurbishment of the Crew Dragon spacecraft.

    FLEET MANAGEMENT: Fleet Operations manages SpaceX’s growing launch vehicle and flight hardware inventory at the launch site. This department executes major transports of flight articles, supports and maintains ground support equipment, and enables critical storage and processing capabilities for launch integration, recovery, and refurbishment.

    LAUNCH PAD INSTRUMENTATION: The day to day focus of the Launch Pad Instrumentation team is the design, build, test and use of instrumentation and control systems in Cape Canaveral. Interns within this group will work directly on the ground support equipment systems used to launch and land rockets at LC-39A, LC-40 and LZ-1.

    LAUNCH REFURBISHMENT: The Launch Refurbishment team develops and executes procedures for the checkout and integration of flight hardware, customer spacecraft and group support equipment. These efforts include working on flight proven Falcon 9 boosters, as well as closely collaborating with other departments to identify solutions to a variety of technical systems.

    LAUNCH SITE SYSTEMS: The Launch Site Systems team is responsible for the design of all fluid systems at the launch sites. Employing fluid mechanics and other mechanical skills, our engineers develop the systems that condition, load, and light the rocket on the launch pad. Design and analysis in incompressible and compressible fluids is performed to build systems that ensure a rapid, reliable, and automated launch day.

    RECOVERY OPERATIONS: Recovery operations involve designing and executing missions to land Falcon 9 both by land and by sea, recover critical hardware such as fairings and cargo dragons, as well as soon recover astronauts offshore. Recovery is responsible for engineering unique solutions both onshore and offshore to recover and process reusable vehicles faster and more efficiently.

    VEHICLE & PAYLOAD INTEGRATION: The Vehicle and Payload Integration departments perform final rocket assembly and run checkouts on flight hardware at the launch sites. Integration engineers are the last set of hands and eyes on the rocket before launch operations begin. Interns in these departments will gain hands-on experience with system functional checkouts, integration and troubleshooting related to the Falcon 9 rocket, Dragon spacecraft and fairing.


    Our SpaceX Headquarters in Hawthorne, CA is where most of the design, production, and business operations take place. The rapid pace and innovation of SpaceX can be witnessed in many areas at our Hawthorne campus, whether it be on the awe-inspiring production floor, or through the innovative research and development happening every day.

    AVIONICS: Our Avionics group works to design, develop, manufacture, test, analyze and integrate all the electronic hardware and software for our vehicles. This includes but is not limited to: power conversion units, analog and digital circuit boards, FPGA’s, communication system units, and firmware as well as enclosure and wire harness development.

    BUILD RELIABILITY: Our Build Reliability team ensures quality production of assemblies and piece parts that flow into the production of the vehicle. They proactively drive initiative to improve the vehicle reliability. The team develops standard tools, processes, methods, design adjustments, and requirements to ensure production reliability.

    CUSTOMER OPERATIONS AND INTEGRATION: Our Customer Operations and Integration group is the main interface between the SpaceX technical teams and our customers and helps to ensure that our missions are successful and timely. They encompass the Space Operations team, which focuses on revolutionizing spaceflight operations for cargo and crew Dragon missions, as well as future company missions. This group contains roles in product management, mission management, mission engineering and proposal development.

    FLIGHT RELIABILITY: Our Flight Reliability group’s primary responsibility is to review and certify the vehicle’s test and flight readiness. The team works to maintain safe, reliable practices during operations and bridge operational and design challenges between test and launch. Flight Reliability interacts with the engineering, production, test and launch teams from the planning stage all the way to launch for the purpose of reviewing the vehicle configuration and status.

    LAUNCH ENGINEERING: The Hawthorne Launch site teams ensure successful launches and rocket recoveries. This team works on the coordination and design of all fluid systems to launch our rockets as well as automation and control systems of our launches. They constantly strive to streamline processes and improve vehicle reliability.

    MATERIALS ENGINEERING: Our Materials Engineering group focuses on finding materials solutions to expand the capabilities of current vehicles and to push design boundaries for our future ones. They cover a wide range of materials disciplines from alloy development, large scale composite structures, additive manufacturing, and traditional aerospace materials. This is a fast paced, hands on group that splits time between materials support for new designs, enabling re-usability of rockets, and materials research focused on interplanetary travel.

    PROPULSION: Our Propulsion group uses cutting edge technology to develop the latest rocket hardware. We currently build more rocket engines than any other organization in the country, and furthermore, the design and performance parameters of SpaceX engines are notably recognized throughout the industry. They design, analyze, build, and test engines that will one day take mankind to Mars.

    PURCHASING: The SpaceX purchasing team is responsible for ensuring lowest product cost and risk through supplier management, strategic negotiations; spend analysis and continuous process improvement. An intern joining this team would expect to gain first-hand experience analyzing supplier and spend data, communicating with suppliers, purchasing direct and/or indirect goods or services, and support of various projects like creating and implementing new processes.

    VEHICLE ENGINEERING: Our Vehicle Engineering team is responsible for the design, development, and qualification of hardware on all vehicles. They partner with engineering and production teams to generate ideas, designs, and improvements. This group includes but is not limited to: propulsion components, structures engineering, in-space propulsion, integration and test, vehicle analysis, thermal and fluid analysis, life support systems, dynamics, and guidance navigation and control.


    Located 40 miles south of our Hawthorne Headquarters, SpaceX’s Irvine location supports the primary Satellite Development team in Redmond, WA. The Irvine Satellite Development team brings together the brightest minds in RFIC design, digital signal processing, FPGA, Board Design, lab verification, programming and package modeling.

    SATELLITE DEVELOPMENT (ASIC / RF / FPGA): Our Irvine Satellite Development team develops phased array space based and ground broadband communications solutions. Internships in Irvine include the opportunity to design, implement and verify complex products that use FPGAs and/or ASICs. Majors represented are mainly: Electrical Engineering, RF / RFIC Engineering – MS/PhD candidates preferred.


    SpaceX tests its engines and structures at a 4,000-acre state-of-the-art rocket development facility in McGregor, Texas. Every Merlin engine that powers the Falcon 9 rocket and every Draco thruster that controls the Dragon spacecraft is tested on one of 11 test stands. The Falcon 9 first stage is tested with all nine Merlin engines firing at 1.71 million pounds of thrust for up to three minutes—the same as actual flight duration. In addition, the facility is home to a dual Merlin test stand consisting of two independent engine testing bays, allowing SpaceX to test up to 400 Merlin engines a year. Established in 2003, the site now averages two tests per day.

    DRAGON TEST: The Dragon Test department is responsible for all acceptance and qualification testing for the Draco and Super Draco engines, as well as hypergolic fuels. The department also leads post-mission Dragon vehicle disassembly and decontamination.

    RAPTOR TEST: The Raptor Test department is responsible for designing, building, and activating the test stand used for the developmental Raptor engine.

    F9 ENGINE & COMPONENT TEST: The F9 Engine & Component Test team is responsible for ensuring maximum product quality by testing our hardware to its limits in as close to flight like conditions as possible. Hardware tests range from components to 1st stage Merlin and 2nd stage MVAC engines. This department is also responsible for integrating the engine to the second stage of Falcon 9. Testing efforts are supported through proper design, maintenance and operations of all ground support equipment.

    F9 STAGE TEST: The F9 Stage Test department is responsible for planning and executing full stage testing of the Falcon 9 launch vehicle. Test Equipment Engineers support this effort through fluids system design, structural analysis and ground propellant operation.

    TEST DEVELOPMENT: The Texas Test Development team is responsible for unplanned, unusual, or reactionary equipment design and testing activities. The team is also responsible for test equipment used in the testing of 2nd stages and for developing business processes used by the engineering and fabrication teams.

    TEST FABRICATION & SUPPORT: This department supports all site needs including new test stand construction, infrastructure modification and repair, supply chain management, and crane operations.


    The SpaceX Redmond office was established in 2015 to develop satellites that will provide global internet access. Opportunities in Redmond range from electrical and software focused, to hardware test and manufacturing. Join the growing Redmond team as they progress on their journey of innovation and ground-breaking satellite technology.

    AVIONICS (ELECTRONICS): The Avionics electrical team specifies, designs, analyzes, implements, tests, and integrates the electronics hardware for the flight computers, power converters, sensors, communication, and guidance/navigation/control subsystems for the satellite. In addition, the team is responsible for the user terminal, gateway and ground station electronics.

    SOFTWARE ENGINEERING: The Satellite Development software team specifies, designs, implements and validates all the code that runs in the system during simulations, development, and in orbit. The team is responsible for the software for the vehicle, user terminals, fleet management, system security, network design and implementation, and the modem. Software engineers at SpaceX enjoy executing a mission critical role and are challenged by developing complex, high reliability code from cradle to grave.

    SATELLITE DEVELOPMENT (MECHANICS): Our team delivers Spacecraft mechanical architecture, design and manufacturing for all Satellite Bus and Payload, including all design and analysis for mechanisms, thermal, reliability analysis, avionics, structural, solar array, and propulsion design. This team’s responsibilities also include manufacturing and test/qualification of all Prototypes and flight vehicles.

    SATELLITE DEVELOPMENT (ASIC / RF / ANTENNA): Our ASIC/RF/Antenna team develops phased array space based and ground broadband communications solutions. They develop chips, boards, DSP firmware and antennas. The team is pushing the amount of bits that can be sent / received per m2 per $ per watt with highly efficient digital, Ku / Ka band RFIC, and RF systems solutions.


    World-class colleagues, rocket launches, and panoramic ocean views from your desk: these are the things of which dream jobs are made. SpaceX's CA coastal launch site is located at historic SLC-4 on Vandenberg Air Force Base. Vandenberg offers our customers critical access to polar orbits, frequently used by satellite communication constellations, defense intelligence and Earth-observing satellites, and some lunar missions. This is an ideal internship location if you are passionate about spaceflight and eager to work hands-on with flight hardware and ground support equipment. Our small, but mighty Vandenberg team is leading the charge on major process innovations for rapid reuse and reliable launch.

    VEHICLE AND PAYLOAD INTEGRATION: Our Vehicle and Payload Integration team performs final rocket assembly and runs checkouts on flight hardware at our Vandenberg launch site. Do you have what it takes to be part of the team that is the last set of hands and eyes on the rocket before launch operations begin? Interns will receive the opportunity to be directly involved in the hands-on assembly, integration and testing of flight vehicle assemblies.

    LAUNCH PAD SYSTEMS AND OPERATIONS: As a team, the Launch Pad Systems and Operations engineers are responsible for all of the fluids systems (Liquid Oxygen, RP-1 kerosene, Helium, Nitrogen, hydraulics, and Air Conditioning systems), command and control (low voltage) infrastructure, and mechanical structures necessary to launch the Falcon 9. As an Associate Engineer, you’ll work closely with one of our engineers on system design, analysis, implementation, activation, and sustainment planning. Be there on the ground floor, getting your hands dirty and contributing directly to the success of future launches.


    Based in Washington, D.C., the SpaceX government affairs team is responsible for all regulatory, congressional, executive branch, and state advocacy efforts.

    GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS: An intern on this team would be expected to prepare policy research documents, create presentation materials, attend and report back on local space policy events, and assist SpaceX staff in day-to-day functions. A strong background with detailed policy research experience is highly desired. Candidates should have excellent verbal and written communication skills and a working knowledge of the federal legislative process. Majors represented are mainly: Political Science, Science & Technology Policy, Law, English