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Systems Engineer – Flight Operations / Flight Controller

Requisition ID: R10043045

  • Category IconCategory: Engineering
  • Location IconLocation: Burlington, MA, USA
  • Citizenship IconCitizenship Required: United States Citizenship
  • Clearance IconClearance Type: None
  • Telecommute IconTelecommute: No- Teleworking not available for this position
  • Shift IconShift: Rotating Shifts (United States of America)
  • Travel IconTravel Required: No
  • Positions IconPositions Available: 1

At Northrop Grumman, our employees have incredible opportunities to work on revolutionary systems that impact people's lives around the world today, and for generations to come. Our pioneering and inventive spirit has enabled us to be at the forefront of many technological advancements in our nation's history - from the first flight across the Atlantic Ocean, to stealth bombers, to landing on the moon. We look for people who have bold new ideas, courage and a pioneering spirit to join forces to invent the future, and have fun along the way. Our culture thrives on intellectual curiosity, cognitive diversity and bringing your whole self to work — and we have an insatiable drive to do what others think is impossible. Our employees are not only part of history, they're making history.

Northrop Grumman Strategic Space Systems is seeking a Flight Controller to support the operation and maintenance of NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory. The Chandra X-ray Observatory is one of NASA’s Great Observatories, delivering ground-breaking science to a world-wide scientific user community. The Chandra Operations Control Center (OCC) in Burlington, MA, is a stand-alone NASA certified operations facility that brings together ground, flight, and science operations teams to support the Chandra mission.

As a member of the Flight Operations Team (FOT), the successful candidate will be a member of a two-person team on each scheduled shift, responsible for on-console satellite operations and off-console technical support.  On-console satellite operations entails state-of-health assessments, issuing commands, monitoring telemetry, performing routine spacecraft maintenance tasks and completing contingency response actions.  Flight Controllers also assist other mission support teams with off-line spacecraft telemetry analysis, software tool development and testing, ground system troubleshooting and upgrade testing, generation of products and procedures, and scheduling of real-time communications passes.  Flight Controllers are required to work shifts, which will include evenings, weekends and holidays, so the team can provide 19 / 7 / 365 operations coverage for the mission.

Flight Controllers interface directly with spacecraft subsystem engineers, analysts, and mission planners in conducting day-to-day operations with the Chandra spacecraft.  The FOT collaborates closely with scientists from the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and NASA, so there can be regular interaction with these groups.  

The selected candidate should be a motivated self-starter who is able to work both collaboratively and independently on short and long term off-console projects.  The Flight Operations Team values the ability to develop and communicate outside-the-box solutions and we share our customer’s passion for advancing the understanding of the universe. 


Basic Qualifications: 

  • Bachelor’s degree in Engineering, Mathematics, Physics, or Computer Science or related STEM discipline with a minimum three (3) years of related experience
  • Experience in a flight operations environment
  • Demonstrated organizational skills and ability to communicate effectively.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience in on-console satellite operations
  • Experience with scripting languages to develop operations support products and tools for use in Windows/Unix/Linux environments
  • Experience using Python and Matlab for the purpose of data parsing, analysis, and visualization
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills, highly effective organizational skills for managing work assignments/products, ability to learn new concepts quickly, and demonstrated ability to collaborate effectively with staff at all levels across geographically diverse locations

Salary Range: $74,900 USD - $112,300 USD

Employees may be eligible for a discretionary bonus in addition to base pay. Annual bonuses are designed to reward individual contributions as well as allow employees to share in company results. Employees in Vice President or Director positions may be eligible for Long Term Incentives. In addition, Northrop Grumman provides a variety of benefits including health insurance coverage, life and disability insurance, savings plan, Company paid holidays and paid time off (PTO) for vacation and/or personal business.

The health and safety of our employees and their families is a top priority. The company encourages employees to remain up-to-date on their COVID-19 vaccinations. U.S. Northrop Grumman employees may be required, in the future, to be vaccinated or have an approved disability/medical or religious accommodation, pursuant to future court decisions and/or government action on the currently stayed federal contractor vaccine mandate under Executive Order 14042

Northrop Grumman is committed to hiring and retaining a diverse workforce. We are proud to be an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer, making decisions without regard to race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, national origin, age, veteran status, disability, or any other protected class. For our complete EEO/AA and Pay Transparency statement, please visit U.S. Citizenship is required for most positions.

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What's great about
Northrop Grumman

  1. Be part of a culture that thrives on intellectual curiosity, cognitive diversity and bringing your whole self to work.
  2. Use your skills to build and deliver innovative tech solutions that protect the world and shape a better future.
  3. Enjoy benefits like work-life balance, education assistance and paid time off.

Did you know?

Northrop Grumman leads the industry team for NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, the largest, most complex and powerful space telescope ever built. Launched in December 2021, the telescope incorporates innovative design, advanced technology, and groundbreaking engineering, and will fundamentally alter our understanding of the universe.