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: Senior Engineer, Extraction

Karman+ is building toward a vision of asteroid mining at scale which includes pioneering techniques for physical sample extraction from an asteroid surface. You will lead the effort to develop a method or suite of methods that enable Karman+ to excavate bulk material from the surface of an asteroid on a scale never before attempted.

Asteroid conditions, including the micro-gravity and unique geotechnical properties of the surface material, present unique and challenging circumstances for sample extraction mechanisms. Additionally, very little is known about these conditions first-hand beyond a handful of sample return missions (Hayabusa 1 and 2, OSIRIS-REx). 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 lead a small team of engineers and specialists to develop a method for asteroid regolith bulk material extraction at the kilogram scale that will be implemented on a sample return mission to an NEA
  • You will work closely with the spacecraft architect and sub-system engineers to understand the trade-offs in design with respect to mission and platform constraints
  • You will design and implement all simulation and testing environments and infrastructure needed to take concepts from design to functional prototyping, which includes:
    • Establishing the framework for rapid prototyping and testing in very difficult field conditions such as microgravity; and
    • Directing investment in physical facilities, testing equipment and technology stack
  • You will create the research and development roadmap and set the priorities for extraction technology that points to our long-term mission at scale
  • You will manage any research or industry collaborations related to extraction technology
  • 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 developing mechanical or geotechnical systems for excavating or sampling bulk material, ranging from concept design and simulation, through testing and integration – including hardware, and functional prototyping
  • You have led a team of engineers and specialists to develop field-tested (or in the space domain, simulant-tested) mechanical systems
  • You are familiar with the materials and physical conditions found on non-terrestrial planetary surfaces and have experience developing physics simulations required to approximate them and other extreme conditions found in space
  • 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 developed mechanical systems for space missions, with special consideration if you have experience with surface interaction tasks
  • You have an advanced degree in mechanical engineering, geotechnical engineering, systems engineering, robotics, or a similar field
  • You have experience designing systems that operate autonomously or near-autonomously
  • 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.

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