Astrodynamics Engineer

  • Planet
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Feb 23, 2021

Job Description

Welcome to Planet. We believe in using space to help life on Earth.

Planet designs, builds, and operates the largest constellation of imaging satellites in history. This constellation delivers an unprecedented dataset of empirical information via a revolutionary cloud-based platform to authoritative figures in commercial, environmental, and humanitarian sectors. We are both a space company and data company all rolled into one.

Customers and users across the globe use Planet's data to develop new technologies, drive revenue, power research, and solve our world’s toughest obstacles.

As we control every component of hardware design, manufacturing, data processing, and software engineering, our office is a truly inspiring mix of experts from a variety of domains.

We have a people-centric approach toward culture and community and we strive to iterate in a way that puts our team members first and prepares our company for growth. Join Planet and be a part of our mission to change the way people see the world.

Planet is headquartered in San Francisco, California, Earth.


About the Role:

Planet Labs is looking for a talented, well-rounded scientist or engineer to perform mission analysis and simulations to support operations, design and launch strategy of our current and future constellations.


As an Astrodynamics Engineer, you will work on a small team of dedicated engineers responsible for the Flight Dynamics and Mission Planning on Planet’s fleet of satellites. The Astrodynamics disciplines of this team includes orbital mechanics, state estimation, attitude dynamics, constellation design, maneuver planning, and collision avoidance. You will be responsible for performing technical analysis and developing systems to support the mission critical responsibilities of the team.


What You Bring:

  • Advanced degree (Masters) in Aerospace Engineering, or related technical field
  • 3+ years of industry experience in Aerospace/related technical field
  • Strong background in astrodynamics / orbital mechanics
  • Experience in solving large-scale optimization problems
  • Strong programming background in Python
  • Familiarity with software engineering tools and processes (version control, code review, regression testing)
  • Self-starter for solving problems.
  • Ability to carry out first-principles analysis and operationalize MVP solutions


What Makes You Stand Out:

  • PhD in Aerospace Engineering and 4+ years of industry experience
  • Strong programming background in C++
  • Knowledge of State Estimation and Uncertainty Quantification
  • Experience with Geoinformatics and Meteorology
  • Experience with designing satellite constellations


Benefits While Working at Planet:

  • Comprehensive Health Plan
  • Wellness program and onsite massages
  • Flexible Time Off
  • Recognition Programs
  • Commuter Benefits
  • Learning and Tuition Reimbursement
  • Parental Leave
  • Offsites and Happy Hours
  • Volunteering Benefits


Some Press About Us: 

Our CEO, Will Marshall featured on TED and featured in a Planet Blog

“Planet: Bringing Space Back Down to Earth”

Tiny, privately owned satellites are changing how we view the Earth features in NBC News

“Planet And Rocket Lab Create Mission Patch To Honor Women In Aerospace” —Planet Blog


Why we care so much about Belonging. 

We’re dedicated to helping the whole Planet, and to do that we must strive to represent all of it within each of our offices and on all of our teams. That’s why Planet is guided by an ultimate  north star of Belonging, dreaming big as we approach our ongoing work with diversity, equity and inclusion.  If this job intrigues you, but you’re thinking you might not have all the qualifications, please... do apply!  At Planet, we are looking for well-rounded people from around the world who can contribute to more ways than just what is listed in this job description.  We don’t just fill positions, we aspire to fulfill people’s careers, most excited about folks who are motivated by our underlying humanitarian efforts.  We are a few orbits around the sun before we get to where we want to be, so we hope you’re excited to come along for the ride. 

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