Space Exploration Initiative

NASA, ESA, H. Teplitz and M. Rafelski (IPAC/Caltech), A. Koekemoer (STScI), R. Windhorst (Arizona State University), and Z. Levay (STScI)

Open positions: 

Mission Integrator

The MIT Media Lab Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) is seeking to hire a part-time staff Mission Integrator  to support an annual zero-gravity flight, recurring sub-orbital launches, ISS interior and exterior missions, and other space environment testing and deployments. Hours are negotiable and weekly schedule is flexible—while part-time, this is a high responsibility and highly valued role. The Mission Integrator will work both internally across SEI and externally with our flight providers: internally with research teams to prepare their pre-flight required documentation, advise on technical gaps and safety reviews, synthesize and disseminate technical specs to both technical and non-technical team members, arrange pre-flight testing for teams as required (e.g. vibration and shock testing), and basic project management to meet launch deadlines; externally with flight providers as the point of contact for gathering and submitting project documentation, communicating team status, negotiating deliverables as required, and maintaining strong relationships.

We are looking for a detail-oriented, quick learner with broad interests—someone who can track with traditional aerospace engineering payloads, while also understanding high-level aims for cutting edge biological experiments, narrative and art pieces, and industrial design explorations.

Aerospace background preferred, technical background mandatory as the engineering specs will span many different sub-fields (electrical, mechanical, hazards, systems engineering, etc). Opportunity for growth in this role includes option to increase hours towards full time CTO-style role, if there is a fit.

The Mission Integrator will have an opportunity to contribute to many projects within our portfolio. We are currently anticipating an average of 15-20 hrs/week through January, with increasing hours through the spring as needed/availability permitting. Ability to work in-person at the MIT Media Lab two days a week or more is preferred, though remote work can be considered. The role is currently evolving and may include opportunities with other departments at MIT as well, to raise the hours to full-time if desired.

If interested, please email ExploreSpace@media.mit.edu with “Mission Integrator application” in the subject line. Include a resume (focus on technical skills and past engineering experience, highlight past mission experience) and a short project portfolio if possible (PDF or link to a website). 

Required skills and education:

  • Strong command of technical language – both reading and writing specs
  • Comfortable fact-checking: structural calculations (strength & deformation); power tables, wiring diagrams/schematics, and thermal dissipation for electrical system robustness; feasibility of experiment ConOps given deployment context, etc
  • Strong communication and project management skills
  • Comfortable with modern online collaboration tools (Google Docs, Slack, Github, Airtable or alternatives, etc)
  • Comfortable in a start-up environment (high level of independence and intuition required)
  • Minimum: technical Bachelors degree with three-five years work experience; masters in Aerospace Engineering preferred 

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Staff Engineer(s)

The MIT Media Lab Space Exploration Initiative is seeking to hire up to three part-time staff engineers to support and newly design Mechanical, Electrical, and Firmware subsystems for early stage prototyping/manufacturing of Space Exploration Initiative research projects. Aerospace background welcomed (but not required), as the engineering projects developed through this position will be actively deployed in microgravity and Low Earth Orbit via parabolic flights, sub-orbital launches, and prospective ISS experiments.The staff engineer will have an opportunity to contribute to many projects within our portfolio, with a focus on rigorous prototyping and early stage manufacturing of futuristic space technologies. 

We are currently anticipating an average of 15-20 hrs/week through May 2020, with continuation options. Ability to work in-person at the MIT Media Lab two days a week is preferred, though remote work can be considered. The role is currently evolving and may include opportunities with other departments at MIT as well, to raise the hours to full-time if desired. If interested, please email ExploreSpace@media.mit.edu with “Staff Engineer application” in the subject line. Include a resume (focus on technical skills and past engineering experience, highlight participation in any prior aerospace missions if relevant) and a short project portfolio if possible (PDF or link to a website). 

Overall experience required: 

  • Technical bachelors + minimum of 5 years working experience, extensive prior project portfolio. Technical master's preferred, but not required. 
  • Experience "shipping" a product, from design through test and manufacturing stages

Required skills (MechE focus):

  • Solidworks (expert modelling-required, analysis and FEA skills-preferred)
  • Machine Shop trained (3D printing, laser cutter, water jet, mill)
  • Basic mechatronics experience for integrating with Arduino, RPi and embedded systems 
  • Bonus: explicit CubeSat hardware experience in at least one subsystem (structural, thermal, power, etc)

Required skills (EE focus):

  • PCB design (Eagle or Altium), fab, testing and troubleshooting for high-reliability, robust, low power systems
  • Facile with C/C++/python and embedded systems programming across various microcontroller platforms
  • Comfortable designing and interfacing with communications modules (RF, BLE)
  • Extensive mechatronics experience for integrating with mechanical systems

Required skills (Firmware focus):

  • Extensive experience with embedded programming, in a range of languages and across platforms (e.g. PSoCs, Arduino, RPi, custom platforms)
  • Comfortable across low-level assembly code, up through writing headers and libraries, to full scripts
  • Design intuition for fault analysis, robustness, and error detection + mitigation
  • Algorithm and execution optimization for low power
  • Comfortable using github for project mgmt

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Event Planner

Beyond the Cradle is an annual, flagship and highly produced event hosted by the Media Lab's Space Exploration Initiative. The event features plenary keynotes from the greatest minds in space exploration; panels with scientists, designers, artists, engineers, storytellers, and visionaries; industry talks from leaders in aerospace technology and business; participant workshops to imagine, design, hack, and create for life in space; and a space arts gallery. This part-time role includes managing invite lists (speakers, attendees) and event registration, fielding general Q’s from attendees, coordinating with vendors, and week-of (March 12, 2020) on-site supervision of event execution along with a support team. If interested, please email ExploreSpace@media.mit.edu with “Event Planner application” in the subject line. Include a resume and highlight prior event planning experience.

To learn more about past events, visit: www.media.mit.edu/groups/beyond-the-cradle

ESTIMATED HOURS

Dec. 8hrs/wk

Jan. 10-15hrs/wk

Feb. 15-20hrs/wk

Mar. 20hrs/wk - onsite for two weeks 

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Part of the space industry or space research community and looking to get engaged? 

Email ExploreSpace@media.mit.edu  and we can add you to the Friends of the  Space Exploration Initiative mailing list.