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Job Details


Aerospace Engineer - Python/Java Tool Suite Engineer



Full Time

On Site


Houston, Texas, United States


Job Description:The employee, as part of the Integrated Mission Operations Contract II (IMOC II), will be assigned to the Trajectory Software group within the Flight Dynamics Division at NASA-Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, where they will be a member of the Platform Independent Software Components for the Exploration of Space (PISCES) Project Team.
The PISCES Project Team is a small elite software development group responsible for developing and maintaining Java-based software tools used by the Flight Dynamics Division community.

PISCES is a Java-based astrodynamics application suite with a 20+ year heritage used for shuttle, the Visiting Vehicle Office (VVO), International Space Station (ISS), Boeing Crew Space Transportation (CST), and Artemis for all phases of flight.

It is also used as a library to the Mission Control Center (MCC) Trajectory Subsystem application suite for astrodynamics tools, scripts, Graphical User Interface (GUI) widgets, etc.A successful applicant needs to be equally at home using, or quick to learn, aerospace domain knowledge to develop software requirements and using programming skills to meet those requirements.
  • The hired applicant will receive training from the software users, which include flight controllers and analysts, to understand the software packages, and develop, maintain, and manage the software’s unique capabilities.
  • The software the applicant will be responsible for supporting is used by the US Visiting Vehicle Officer (USVVO) flight controller group to perform on-orbit vehicle burn targeting and to plot the trajectory of vehicles as they approach and depart the ISS, to ensure the safety of the rendezvous/capture and release/departure operations of spacecraft delivering people and cargo to the ISS.
  • The candidate will work with the USVVO group to determine how software capabilities are used; to develop and analyze new requirements; to design, develop, and test software code; as well as to create associated documentation, while adhering to the group’s software processes and standards.
  • Additionally, the hired candidate may also support software used by the Flight Dynamics Office (FDO) flight controller group to perform ascent trajectory verification for launches of the Space Launch System (SLS)/Orion vehicle for Artemis and Commercial Crew Boeing CST-100 missions.
  • The employee may also support software used by the Trajectory Operations and Planning Officer (TOPO) flight controller group to support ISS Increment missions.
  • Similar training will be provided, by working with the FDO and TOPO groups to understand user requirements and software capabilities.
  • As part of preparing for Artemis II (following) and Artemis III (operation) missions and beyond, the PISCES group is looking at re-architecting part of the PISCES suite of tools in Python.
  • Experience with Python is mandatory.
  • The candidate may be requested to be on-call to provide software technical support and, therefore, the candidate must be able to support a flexible work week as infrequent early morning, late evening, and weekend work may be required to support real-time launch schedules.
  • This position is not related to any flight controller certification.
  • Associated tools used that support the typical developer duties include the Microsoft Office Suite (Word, PowerPoint, Excel), Freeflyer, and GitLab.

Primary Responsibilities:The following reflects essential functions and responsibilities for this position but does not restrict the tasks that may be assigned.Additional duties and responsibilities may be assigned or reassigned at any time due to reasonable accommodation or other reasons.• Interfacing with NASA customer daily.
• Meeting support, which may include concisely reporting notable and actionable results to management or team. Note, in some cases facilitating one or more meetings and taking minutes.
• Representing the PISCES Team at different NASA panels, boards, and working groups.
• Writing and reviewing PISCES tool suite requirements, and customer and performance issues.
• Creating and quality assuring relatable mission data products for internal and external customers.
• Developing software requirements for and testing console situational awareness tools, data production tools, and/or analysis tools.
• Developing training lessons.
• Performing analysis, trade studies, running trajectory simulations and interpreting performance data. Note this may include modifying Java, Python, or Freeflyer scripts and running them in a Linux environment.
• Making oral presentations to team peers, Flight Control Engineers, and various levels of management.
Position Requirements:
  • Bachelor or Master of Science in Engineering (ABET) or Physics.
  • This is an entry-level to intermediate position for candidates having 0-2 years of relatable experience.
  • The ideal candidate has an understanding and knowledge in the Aerospace Engineering Domain (or quick to learn) and enjoys programming in Java and Python.
  • The candidate must have demonstrated beginner to intermediate experience in Java, Python, or similar software (like C++) development on either Linux or Windows-based development platforms is mandatory.
  • Must have a passion for software development.
  • Excellent communication, interpersonal, leadership, teamwork, technical, administrative skills, and the ability to prioritize tasks in alignment with near-term and long-term project goals are mandatory.
  • Must be able to work in a dynamic environment that requires the candidate to work effectively both alone and as part of a team.
  • The candidate must have a demonstrated ability to plan, lead, and coordinate a wide range of tasks.
  • The candidate must be able to travel, as needed (low percentage, no current requirement) to support potential related technical forms or relatable professional conferences (budget pending).
  • The Integrated Mission Operations Contract II requires the qualified candidate to be a U.S. Citizen..
Preferred QualificationsEducation or experience with basic engineering, orbital/celestial mechanics, and spacecraft flight dynamics, real-time spacecraft trajectory system design, analysis, and/or operations is highly desired.Education or experience with commercial off-the-shelf tools, such as GitLab Inc. Gitlab®, MathWorks Matlab®, and/or a.i. solutions FreeFlyer®, is also desired.Previous experience with software project management and development lifecycle is also desired but not required.

Pay Range:Pay Range $50,700.00 - $78,000.00 - $105,300.00

The Leidos pay range for this job level is a general guideline only and not a guarantee of compensation or salary. Additional factors considered in extending an offer include (but are not limited to) responsibilities of the job, education, experience, knowledge, skills, and abilities, as well as internal equity, alignment with market data, applicable bargaining agreement (if any), or other law.