Karman+

Mission

To mine Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs) to provide abundant, sustainable energy and resources for the space economy.

Vision 

To accelerate the inevitable in service of solving the existential crises standing in the way of future generations.

Our initial market is not platinum metals or rare earth minerals. We are starting with water, which is essential for space propulsion and drives the flywheel for reusability.

Advances in remote sensing, autonomy, dynamic simulations, launch services and satellite development show a very clear inflection point for the space economy. We have moved from asteroid mining “is technically feasible” to there is a “sustained market demand” for space resources.

About the role: Lead Engineer, Autonomous Systems

Karman+ is building toward a vision of asteroid mining at scale and implementing autonomous systems for mission operations is a key part of this. As the lead engineer you will create the vision, build the team, and lead the development of autonomous systems across all mission stages and operations.

The field of autonomous systems for spacecraft operations is complex but rapidly advancing; however, the ability to conduct high-level decision-making with minimal Human-in-the-Loop in deep space across operations ranging from GNC to surface interaction and sample collection presents even more bold challenges. You have knowledge and experience relevant to these challenges and the sense of adventure and innovation needed to lead Karman+ to address them.

Key roles and responsibilities:

  • You will design and implement autonomous system architectures for the full range of spacecraft operations on a sample return mission to an NEA, ranging from Guidance, Navigation, Control (GNC) to surface interaction/sample collection
  • You will build and lead a team of autonomous specialists to develop these systems, working closely with the spacecraft architect and sub-system engineers to understand the trade-offs in design with respect to mission and platform constraints, including but not limited to desired autonomous behaviors and fault management
  • You will design and implement all simulation infrastructure and testing environments needed to support development from design through implementation, which includes:
    • Establishing the framework for rapid prototyping, testing, and integration across all spacecraft systems;
    • Developing testing campaigns for Software-in-the-Loop (SIL) and Hardware-in-the-Loop (HIL); and
    • Directing investment in the technology stack
  • You will create the research and development roadmap and set the priorities for autonomous systems that points to our long-term mission at scale
  • You will manage any research or industry collaborations related to autonomous systems
  • You will be a member of a core team of scientists and engineers shaping the technical strategy and pilot mission architecture of Karman+

Basic qualifications:

  • You have direct technical experience in at least one of the following:
    • Developing systems for spacecraft operations, such as: GNC for cruise and trajectory maneuvers, proximity operations, or surface interactions;
    • Autonomous perception (e.g. for Vision-Based Navigation or remote sensing and characterization);
    • Artificial intelligence and decision-making related to vehicle operations (e.g. reinforcement learning); or
    • Developing algorithms for control engineering and response to fault conditions
  • It is highly preferred that your experience be related to spacecraft systems but extensive experience in automating complex tasks in relevant domains, such as spacecraft ground systems, autonomous cars or drones, or factory automation may be considered
  • You have expertise in relevant programming languages and frameworks, including low-level languages (C/C++) and/or languages for scientific computing (Matlab, Python and key packages such as PyTorch) and remain active as a technical contributor
  • You have led a team of engineers to successfully develop autonomous systems from concept design, through testing and integration, to implementation in a vehicle that has operated in the field
  • You are a creative, interdisciplinary thinker with strong skills in systems engineering and have demonstrated success designing system architectures for challenging problems with limited historical context
  • You excel in fast-paced environments with ambitious goals and have experience leading small teams in such conditions and in close collaboration with other highly specialized teams
  • You are a flexible and resourceful leader who understands the technical playbooks used to develop these technologies but can discern their limits and create a new playbook as needed
  • You are enthusiastic about asteroid mining and the space economy
  • You have excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • You are authorized to work in the U.S.

Bonus experience and skills:

  • You have experience developing autonomous systems for deep space missions
  • You have experience developing autonomous systems related to the proximity operations and surface interactions of a spacecraft
  • You have familiarity with the conditions present in small bodies of the Solar System, including extreme temperature changes, rapidly rotating surfaces, and microgravity
  • You have an advanced degree in computer science, mathematics, electrical engineering, systems engineering, aerospace engineering or a similar field
  • You have experience working in young, fast-growing organizations

Karman+ values

We thrive at the intersection of engineering and scientific exploration. Our mission requires engineering ingenuity as much as scientific discovery. We believe economic success will come from a holistic combination of both.

We are global citizens working on sustainable development. Our mission is not bound to any one country, because the challenges we aim to solve are global. In recognition of that, and as a first step, we are building our team and our partnerships across the world.

We embrace adventure. Our mission requires focus and a drive to discover. We are bringing the brightest minds together to solve these.

Come work for us…

  • We are ambitious but the timing is right. Be part of the team looking to make it happen.
  • We are looking to build things to put in space quickly.
  • We emphasize creativity and innovation and resources are available to support good ideas.
  • Join a team of people working toward the same ambitious goal.
  • We are an engaging team looking to empower our teammates.
  • You can have a share in the company value creation.

Apply for this Job

* Required
resume chosen  
(File types: pdf, doc, docx, txt, rtf)
cover_letter chosen  
(File types: pdf, doc, docx, txt, rtf)