Space Mission Architect

Added: February 9, 2024

Space Mission Architect

About Us:

BlackSky is a real-time intelligence company. We own and operate the world's most advanced space-based intelligence platform and provide customers satellite imagery, automated analytics and high-frequency monitoring of strategic locations, economic assets and events from around the globe. BlackSky is trusted by the most demanding allied military and intelligence organizations and commercial companies to deliver foresight into critical matters that affect national security and the economy. BlackSky's data enables governments and businesses to see, understand and anticipate change as it happens, giving them the ultimate strategic advantage so they can act quickly. Our global team works with cutting-edge technology to make a difference around the world and prides itself on being people-first, customer-focused and fun.

We are seeking an experienced Space Mission Architect with the primary responsibility to develop space mission solutions across a wide range of applications including Earth Observation (EO), Space Domain Awareness, Space Protection, and others. This position reports within the office of the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and reports to the Principal Technical Fellow and will routinely collaborate across a diverse set of technical and business leaders within the CTO office and across the larger BlackSky company. The ideal candidate will have a unique combination of expertise across a broad set of technical and program management areas including satellites, EO payloads, ground systems, space to space and space to ground communications, launch integration, space and ground hardware and software development, program planning, program management, program scheduling and costing, customer communications and development of industry partnerships.

As a Space Mission Architect you will have the responsibility to lead technical teams to develop mission solutions (OV-1) addressing all aspects of the Concept of Operations (CONOPs) and Tasking, Collections, Processing, Exploitation, and Dissemination (TCPED) architecture. You will also lead program teams to develop an effective program plan, schedule, costing and be a significant part of the capture team for proposals and will lead the hand-off of awarded programs to program execution teams. The position requires an individual with a strong capability as a team leader, and also a strong capability as an individual contributor to architect comprehensive solutions including the technical approach and the program execution approach. As a leader in early stage mission architecture development, strong proposal writing, presentation, costing, and capture management skills are also critical to the position.

The candidate must be a proven self-starter, highly organized, and have an ability to balance competing priorities in resource constrained environments. Routine domestic and international travel is expected to collaborate with customers and industry partners as needed, less than 25%. While we would prefer a candidate local to one of our offices (Herndon, VA or Seattle, WA) we will be open to strong remote candidates in select states.


  • Define Space Mission designs and architectures in response to customer and market needs, objectives, and solicitations.
  • Lead technical and program support teams to refine mission solution concepts in support of proposals and funded concept studies.
  • Develop compelling win strategies and create competitive discriminators.
  • Lead customer and industry partner communications, presentations, and collaboration efforts.
  • Lead the development of program plans, internal proposals cost/price gate reviews, prime and subcontract statements of work, subcontract/vendor source selection, technical specifications, program schedule and related documentation.
  • Lead initial study contracts and lead the transition to full program development and execution teams.
  • Manage competing priorities and manage individual tasks towards larger company and team objectives.
  • Other relevant duties as assigned.

Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's or Master's degree in a relevant engineering discipline.
  • Minimum of 10 years technical experience in satellite, ground, launch, or operations functions.
  • Minimum of 10 years experience in program and capture management of space based missions.
  • Competent, broad knowledge of space mission architectures and mission applications including driving requirements and challenges / solutions.
  • Proven ability to architect complete OV-1, CONOPs and TCPED mission solutions and distill complex architectures to high level concepts.
  • Ability to generate effective program execution plans from anew.
  • Experience in business development and program capture, including customer relationships, concept development, and proposal writing.
  • Proven experience as a self-starter, that can work independently to manage complex projects from conception to completion.
  • Strong team and inter-team cooperation and organization skills, including team leadership experience
  • Excellent written and oral presenting skills, with the ability to clearly and competently convey technical system designs and trades to customers.
  • Ability to multi-task within a startup, fast paced environment.
  • Excellent MS-Office skills including Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Project, and Visio.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience in the New Space and space start-up industry.
  • Experience with high rate satellite manufacturing and operations.
  • Direct systems engineering budget development and analytics experience.
  • Knowledge of commercial, defense, and intelligence satellite systems and overall space based mission architectures.
  • Ability to obtain and maintain a TS/SCI security clearance.
  • Understanding of market and competitor strengths and weaknesses.

Life at BlackSky for full-time US benefits eligible employees includes :

  • Medical, dental, vision, disability, group term life and AD&D, voluntary life and AD&D insurance
  • BlackSky pays 100% of employee-only premiums for medical, dental and vision and contributes $100/month for out-of-pocket expenses!
  • 15 days of PTO, 11 Company holidays, four Floating Holidays (pro-rated based on hire date), one day of paid volunteerism leave per year, parental leave and more
  • 401(k) pre-tax and Roth deferral options with employer match
  • Flexible Spending Accounts
  • Employee Stock Purchase Program
  • Employee Assistance and Travel Assistance Programs
  • Employer matching donations
  • Professional development
  • Mac or PC? Your choice!
  • Awesome swag

The anticipated base salary range for candidates in Seattle, WA is $170,000-195,000 per year. The final compensation package offered to a successful candidate will be dependent on specific background and education. BlackSky is a multi-state employer, and this pay scale may not reflect salary ranges in other states or locations outside of Seattle, WA

BlackSky is committed to hiring and retaining a diverse workforce. We are proud to be an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer All Qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, protected veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.

To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, including the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) you 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.

EEO/AAP/ Pay Transparency Statements: