Starlab Program Lead System Engineer (LSE)

Nanoracks Hiring in Denver
Position:Starlab Program Lead System Engineer
Reports To:Starlab Program Manager
Location:Denver, CO
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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.

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 2027, completely outfitted with GWC Science Park hardware and will be fully functional immediately following spacecraft commissioning.

What We're Looking For

Nanoracks is looking for a highly experienced Lead System Engineer (LSE), programmatically reporting to the Starlab Chief Engineer to be the Systems engineering  lead for the Starlab ground and space systems. The LSE will leverage their technical expertise in spacecraft systems to lead a team of subject matter experts and guide numerous subcontracts to develop Starlab.

The ideal candidate will leverage their extensive systems engineering experience, preferably with background in manned space systems and leadership skills to guide the Starlab Program 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.

Starlab Program Lead System Engineer

Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Responsible for overall Systems Engineering and Integration (SE&I) for the Starlab and the associated ground and research systems
  • Technical lead for the Design, Development, Test and Evaluation (DDT&E) and system verification activities for the overall SE&I of Starlab
  • Implements and manages all SE&I processes for Starlab’s overall system level requirements and interfaces
  • Provides technical direction to Starlab subcontractors
  • Responsible for managing and resolving all technical issues, risks, and changes
  • Defines and manages all physical interfaces and induced environments and models including changes as required
  • Owns, documents, and manages all ICDs and proposed changes to ICDs
  • Develops technical Statements Of Work (SOWs) for subcontractors
  • Collaborate with Starlab Program Manager to resolve technical issues within cost and schedule constraints


Key Attributes/Qualifications:

  • 15+ years of work experience developing large, complex aerospace systems
  • 5+ years of direct experience in Requirements Definition, System Engineering, DDT&E, operations, and sustaining engineering for complex human-rated aerospace systems preferred
  • 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
  • Significant experience in System Engineering processes and principles
  • Extensive experience developing systems engineering plans and will be expected to define a systems engineering plan, processes and guide
  • Experience working with multiple subcontractor teams to integrate complex subsystems into an integrated aerospace system
  • Understanding of United States export control laws and regulations
  • Bachelor’s degree or higher in engineering (e., mechanical, electrical, aerospace), hard sciences (i.e. physics, materials science), computer science/engineering or mathematics from an accredited university
  • Strong oral and written communication skills for both technical and non-technical audiences
  • 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


Competitive with local and industry standard.

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