Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) SME – Starlab Program

Nanoracks Hiring in Houston
Position:Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) SME - Starlab Program
Reports To:Lead Systems Engineer - Starlab
Location:Houston, TX
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About Nanoracks

Nanoracks is a cutting-edge aerospace company focusing on providing commercial access to space, currently on the International Space Station (ISS), suborbital vehicles, expendable launch vehicles, and more! We have sent over 1,000 payloads to the Space Station, kickstarted the CubeSat deployment revolution, and have customers in over 30 nations.

Since 2009, Nanoracks has created and expanded new in-space markets and has been the world leader for ushering in a new era of in-space services. Currently, Nanoracks is working to build commercial space stations (“Outposts”) from the spent upper stages of launch vehicles in orbit. This technology will enable spent upper stages to be used as crewed and un-crewed space stations for various purposes and customers—both civil and commercial.

Nanoracks will provide and facilitate an ecosystem of interoperable technologies and distributed free flying space stations. You can read our approach here.

We hope you’ll apply to join our team. We work with leaders from all over the world, including NASA, universities and government centers both foreign and domestic, and commercial companies. We’re fast, fun, passionate, and love sending things to space.

What We're Looking For

Smart, talented, critical thinkers with an ability to handle responsibility in a dynamic and ever-changing landscape. You will own your projects and be results oriented. Nanoracks is a small company (70+ awesome people), but we interface with much larger organizations from around the world.  You will need to be able to work in small and large groups as well as simultaneously execute an entire project on time.

Nanoracks is building the first free-flying commercial low-Earth orbit space station, called Starlab. Starlab is a continuously crewed, free-flying, multifunctional space station dedicated to conducting advanced research, fostering industrial activity, and ensuring continued U.S. presence and leadership in low-Earth Orbit. Starlab will feature one third of the volume and all the payload capability of the International Space Station, making it the most significant fully commercial endeavor in space in history. Starlab will also host the George Washington Carver Science Park, the first in-space science park, and meet existing, and growing demand for commercial space activities. Starlab will launch on a single flight, targeted for 2028, completely outfitted with GWC Science Park hardware and will be fully functional immediately following spacecraft commissioning.

Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) SME - Starlab Program


Nanoracks is looking for a highly experienced ECLSS Subject Matter Expert (SME) programmatically reporting to the Starlab Program Manager and functionally to the Lead System Engineer, to be the technical design and programmatic ECLSS SME for the Starlab ground and space systems. The ECLSS SME will leverage their ECLSS expertise in human rated spacecraft systems to lead the Starlab ECLSS requirements, development, test, and verification program for Starlab.  The ECLSS SME should be familiar with the ISS ECLSS system, lessons learned, and NASA requirements for closure of the ECLSS system to reduce consumables resupply.

The ECLSS SME will work with all Starlab subject matter experts and guide numerous subcontracts to develop and manage the ECLSS system design process for Starlab. The ideal candidate will leverage their extensive systems engineering experience, preferably with background in human rated space systems and leadership skills to guide the Starlab Program ECLSS development and implementation process with the Starlab team of engineers and subcontractors to ensure Starlab meets its technical requirements on schedule and on budget to deliver the first-ever free-flying commercial space station.


Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Responsible for the overall ECLSS requirements, development, and verifications processes for the Starlab that takes advantage of high loop closure in the water and oxygen generations systems to reduce consumables resupply needs.
  • The ECLSS SME is responsible for working on a multi-disciplined team of engineers to develop, design, integrate, analyze, and oversee the production, test and operation of ECLSS Air Revitalization, Pressure Control Systems, Ventilation, and Water and Wastewater Controls solutions for human rated spacecraft systems.
  • The ECLSS SME is responsible for key ECLSS System deliverables as part of an Integrated Team.
  • The ECLSS SME is expected to be self-directed using previous experience to help lead Spacecraft, Mission design and analysis efforts, Mission Operations, and Ground Segment development.
  • The ECLSS SME works with NASA ISS ECLSS group to understand the lessons learned, onboard spares ECLSS requirements, and high TRL level ECLSS loop closure requirements and consumables trades.
  • Works within the System Engineering and Integration (SE&I) processes for Starlab to identify, prioritize, and mitigate Starlab cost, schedule, and technical risks within the Starlab system level requirements and interfaces.
  • Provides ECLSS expertise and direction to Starlab subcontractors including leading ECLSS technical reviews.
  • Write status and technical performance reviews and reports.
  • Experience interfacing with Command and Data Handling design (C&DH), Electrical System design, and Software design and development.
  • Experience in development and maintenance of Interface Control Documents (ICDs).
  • Responsible with the LSE and Starlab PM for identifying, controlling, mitigating, and regular reporting of all ECLSS programmatic and technical issues, risks, and changes in the ECLSS system design and verification.
  • Documents using the Starlab Program and Control function all identified risks and proposed changes to the ECLSS risk database.
  • Collaborates with Starlab PM and LSE to resolve ECLSS technical issues within cost and schedule constraints.


Key Attributes/Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree or higher in engineering mechanical, electrical, aerospace), hard sciences (i.e. physics, materials science), computer science/engineering or mathematics from an accredited university.
  • 8-15+ years of work experience developing large, complex aerospace, human rated ECLSS systems.
  • Significant experience in closed loop ECLSS design and System Engineering processes and principles.
  • Experience working with multiple subcontractor teams to integrate complex subsystems into an integrated human rated commercial space station.
  • Understanding of United States export control laws and regulations.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills for both technical and non-technical audiences.
  • Comfortable representing technical and programmatic information to various stakeholder communities including scientists, academics, engineering staff, executives, and investors—both nationally and outside the United States.
  • Ability to travel as necessary both domestic and foreign.
  • Experience in Design to Cost and Cost as an Independent Variable (CAIV).
  • Ability to obtain a security clearance.
  • U.S. Citizenship is preferred.


EEO Statement:

It is our policy to select, place, train and promote the most qualified individuals based upon relevant factors such as work quality, attitude and experience so as to provide equal employment opportunity for all employees in compliance with applicable local, state and federal laws and without regard to non-work related factors such as race, color, religion/creed, sex, national origin, age, disability, marital status, veteran stats, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, citizenship, genetic information, or other protected status. When applicable, our policy of non-discrimination applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including but not limited to recruiting, hiring, training, transfer, promotion, placement, lay-off, compensation, termination, reduction in force and benefits.

To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, applicant must be a U.S. citizen as defined by ITAR (22 CFR §120.15) or eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State.

The statements contained in this job description are intended to describe the general content and requirements for performance of this job. It is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all job duties, responsibilities, and requirements. This job description is not an employment agreement or contract. Management has the exclusive right to alter the scope of work within the framework of this job description at any time without prior notice.


Competitive with local and industry standard.

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