Satellite Operations Engineer

Capella Space
San Francisco, CA
Added: February 9, 2024
Capella Space stands at the forefront of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) Earth observation intelligence and advanced satellite technologies. We provide customers in governments, academia, and commercial sectors with reliable information that enables unparalleled understanding of the world. Our mission is centered on delivering timely and reliable Earth imagery, supporting diverse applications in defense & intelligence, disaster response, energy, environmental monitoring and more. Utilizing cutting-edge technology, Capella Space designs, manufactures and operates an advanced constellation of SAR imaging satellites. Our market-leading SAR satellites are complemented by an unmatched data infrastructure and automated ordering and delivery platform for fast, reliable insights where and when customers need it most.

Recognized for our technological prowess, Capella Space was honored as one of the 10 most innovative companies in Space in 2023 by FASTCOMPANY. Capella Space is an internationally trusted Earth Observation data provider, working closely with the U.S. Space Systems Command, U.S. Space Force, NASA, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, U.S. National Reconnaissance Office, the Canadian Government and more to make unclassified, high-resolution SAR data more accessible.

What Makes Capella Unique?

Capella Space is a highly collaborative team environment, providing an opportunity to work with some of the brightest minds in the space industry, though no prior space experience is needed. We're looking for people excited about tackling seemingly impossible challenges, learning new skills and concepts, and helping each other achieve success. Our mission and our products are meant to understand the whole world and help everyone in it - regardless of race, creed, or any other distinction. We encourage you to bring your unique perspective to help make us stronger, including applications from those who are traditionally underrepresented in tech.

About the Role

You will execute the full life cycle of mission operations, including ground system integration, operation procedure development, satellite command and control, software development, and mission data analysis. You're an independent problem solver that seeks out ways to make our systems better, learns best practices, and wants to help build out a satellite constellation. As part of the space operations team, you will be interacting on a daily basis with other spacecraft operators, software engineers, satellite engineers, and product engineers to develop and run a highly autonomous spacecraft operations system.

We expect all Space Operations team members to work on a variety of problems across the spacecraft operations space, be familiar with how the spacecraft functions, and be capable of commanding and controlling it.

The Capella operations center is nominally entirely automated by software with operators on-console to support critical mission events like launch, early operations, and on-call anomaly response. Day-to-day responsibilities will primarily involve improving the automated operations system through procedure development, scripting anomaly response, performing spacecraft analysis, and supporting the execution of special projects and demonstrations in conjunction with the product engineering team.

You will participate in an on-call rotation with your fellow operators and be the first responder to spacecraft anomalies on a regular basis. The position is available in San Francisco or Boulder.


  • Proficiency in Python
  • Familiarity with each of the following disciplines and significant experience with at least one:
    • Astrodynamics
    • Guidance, Navigation, and Control
    • Electrical Engineering
    • Communications Systems
    • Thermal Engineering
    • Embedded Software
    • Comfortable dealing with unknowns, quantifying risk, addressing uncertainty, and handling the pressure of a real-time operating environment
    • Experience with or ideas for scaling a fleet of vehicles in the field and their support infrastructure
    • An unwillingness to ignore anomalous or unusual behavior without root-causing it
    • Good communications skills, ability to work collaboratively in a team environment, and enjoyment of learning and teaching new skills.
    • To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, including the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), Capella Employees must be a U.S. citizen, lawful U.S. permanent resident (i.e., current Green Card holder), or lawfully admitted into the U.S. as a refugee or granted asylum, or be eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State and/or the U.S. Department of Commerce, as applicable. Learn more about ITAR here.


    The annual salary range for this role as it is posted is $112,400.00 - $140,500.00. The final job level and annual salary will be determined based on the education, qualification, knowledge, skills, ability, and experience of the final candidate(s), specific office location and calibrated against relevant market data and internal team equity. Benefits listed in this posting may vary depending on the nature of your employment with Capella Space.


    In addition to an opportunity to take part in an innovative, collaborative and fast-growing business with a highly motivated and skilled team, we also take pride in taking care of our employees. Here are just a few ways that we show our appreciation:

    • We offer up to 100% paid medical coverage, with robust vision and dental plans. Looking for more? We offer comprehensive flexible spending accounts, along with supplemental health plans
    • Equity
    • 401K Plan to invest in your long-term retirement planning
    • Generous Parental Leave
    • Flexible Paid Time Off Policy
    • Commuter & Parking Benefits
    • Mental Health Resources
    • Monthly phone stipend
    • Daily provided lunches and stocked kitchens.
    • Furry friends? We've got you covered with dog-friendly work environment & them with pet insurance options

    Equal Opportunity Statement

    Capella Space is an equal opportunity employer, committed to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace, and upholding equitable hiring practices.

    All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic under federal, state, or local law, including those with a criminal history, in a manner consistent with the requirements of applicable state and local laws, including the CA Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring Ordinance. We actively encourage members of recognized minorities, women, Veterans, and those with disabilities to apply, and we work to create a welcoming and supportive environment for all applicants throughout the interview process. If you need assistance or require an accommodation during the job application process, please notify

    To learn more about us, explore our site: and follow us on X and LinkedIn to see our SAR imagery!