Aerospace Engineer, AST, Aerospace Flight Systems | NASA

Date Posted: 
Friday, March 20, 2020
Position Location: 
Huntsville, AL
Job Description: 


Serves as a Senior Aerospace Engineer involved with managing space and aeronautical flight systems, vehicles, and/or payloads, including design and operational requirements definition, hardware and/or software development, testing, verification, safety, integration, certification and operations. Examples of the work will vary depending on each Center's role and responsibility to the mission.

Learn more about this agency


  • Serves as a Senior Aerospace engineer executing a combination of duties based on management and organizational requirements.
  • Works with multi-disciplinary professionals to manages aerospace flight systems, vehicles, and payloads programs/projects.
  • Performs design, operational requirements definition, hardware/software development testing, vehicle verification, assess risk/safety, integration, certification of flight operations readiness.
  • Applies theories, principles, practical concepts, processes, and systems related to the science and practices of aeronautics. Develops, designs, tests, and researches, operates and performs maintenance on aircraft and/or spacecraft.
  • Analyzes, designs, and operates aerospace vehicles and structures in the earth's atmosphere. Duties may include: production, fabrication, operation, type certification, and/or maintenance of aerospace vehicles or associated equipment.
  • Investigates phenomena encountered in aerospace flight, monitors and analyzes unknown aerospace vehicles, navigates aerospace vehicles, and develops aviation safety standards and regulations.
  • Conducts specialized studies on flight vehicles.
  • Performs functions such as: planning, research, design, development, test and evaluation, cost and analyses. Works alongside contractors integrating new technologies, improving reliability, extending vehicle lifetime, and managing costs.
  • Oversee contractor proposals for flight systems, provides technical management of contracts involving design, development, integration, test, evaluation, operation, and sustaining long-term flight systems. Monitors contractors work.
  • Determines operational performance and requires modifications and enhancements to increase capability, manages cost, schedule and technical aspects including risk management of the aerospace projects and/or programs.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - Travel may be required for training or other work-related duties


Conditions of Employment

  • A one-year probationary period may be required
  • Position subject to pre-employment background investigation
  • The base salary range for the GS-14 is listed on the vacancy announcement; the selectee(s) final salary will be set based on their duty location with locality added on top of the base salary.
  • Financial Disclosure, Drug Testing, and/or the Risk Designation for this position may differ and be required based on the duty location/NASA Center requirements.


In addition to the Basic Education Requirement, you must have one year of specialized experience equivalent to the next lower grade (GS-13), which has equipped you with the particular competencies needed to successfully perform the duties of the position described above.

To qualify for the GS-14:
One year of specialized experience is defined as experience in program/project management involving planning, research, design, development, test and evaluation, cost analyses of space and aeronautical flight systems or experimental aircraft/aircraft systems; experience in analyzing, designing, and operating aerospace vehicles and structures operating throughout the earth's atmosphere; experience developing payload requirements and integrating into flight systems.



In order to qualify for this position you must meet Basic Education Requirement

Basic education requirement (combine with appropriate grade level AST qualification statement) Basic Education Requirement: A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with major study in Aeronautical Engineering, Aeronautics, Aerospace Engineering, Architecture, Astronautical Engineering, Astronautics, Astronomy, Astrophysics, Biomedical Engineering, Ceramic Engineering, Ceramics, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Science*, Life Science, Earth and Planetary Science, Electrical Engineering, Electronics Engineering, Geology, Geophysics, Industrial Engineering, Materials Engineering, Materials Science, Mathematics (Pure or Applied), Applied Mechanics, Engineering Mechanics, Mechanical Engineering, Metallurgical Engineering, Metallurgy, Meteorology, Nuclear Engineering, Nuclear Engineering Physics, Oceanography, Optical Engineering, Physics, Applied Physics, Engineering Physics, Space Science, Structural Engineering, Welding Engineering or other appropriate physical science or engineering field. Degrees in engineering technology are not considered to be qualifying for this position.

*Note: Curriculum must include 30 semester hours of course work in a combination of mathematics, statistics and computer science that provided in-depth knowledge of the following: (1) theoretical foundations and practical applications of computer science, including digital computer system architecture and system software organization, the representation and transformation of information structures and the theoretical models for such representations and transformations; and (2) essential mathematical and statistical techniques. Of the 30 semester hours, 15 must be in any combination of statistics and mathematics which includes differential and integral calculus

U.S. Engineering degrees must have been awarded from a college or university school of engineering with at least one curriculum accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). To find out if a degree meets this requirement, go to

Foreign Engineering degrees must be recognized by a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA), often known as ?accords.? These are non-governmental agreements among organizations that accredit academic degree programs. MRAs recognize the substantial equivalence of mature accreditation systems and programs accredited by signatory organizations within their jurisdictions. For a listing of Signatories, please visit,

Science and other related degrees must have been awarded from colleges or universities that are accredited by recognized accrediting organizations. For a list of schools that meet this criteria, go to

All degrees must have been received in the year of, or any year subsequent to the original date of accreditation.

Official transcripts will be required at the time of selection to verify that you meet the educational requirement or substitution.

Applicants please list on your resume:
-College/University Name
-Completion date (Month/Year)

Additional information

This position is announced under Direct Hire authority. Recruitment for this position will follow guidelines established by the Office of Personnel Management for use of Direct Hire authority.

If you have special priority selection rights under the Agency Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP), you must:

Indicate your eligibility when applying for a position. The USAJOBS resume asks you to identify your ICTAP eligibility; the NASA Supplemental Information asks you to identify your CTAP eligibility.

Be well qualified for this position to receive consideration. See 'How You Will Be Evaluated' for NASA's definition of well qualified.

Be prepared to submit proof that you meet the requirements for CTAP/ICTAP if you are selected for the position. This includes copies of your agency notice, most recent Performance Rating and most recent Notification of Personnel Action (SF-50) noting current position, grade level, and duty location.

As identical vacancies are identified, additional selections may be made from this announcement.

You must meet qualification requirements by the closing date of this announcement.

At NASA each organization is free to establish telework procedures and schedules that are compatible with mission requirements, while offering employees some options for work/life balance. Specific telework requests will be considered by the immediate supervisor.

Duty location will be determined upon selection and will be at one of the following NASA locations: Ames Research Center (Moffett Field, California), Armstrong Flight Research Center (Edwards AFB, California), Glenn Research Center (Cleveland, Ohio); Goddard Space Flight Center (Greenbelt, Maryland; and Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, VA); Headquarters (Washington DC), Johnson Space Center (Houston, Texas; and White Sands Test Facility, Las Cruces, NM); Kennedy Space Center (Kennedy Space Center, Florida); Langley Research Center (Hampton, Virginia), Marshall Space Flight Center (Huntsville, Alabama); Stennis Space Center (Stennis Space Center, Mississippi); or NASA Shared Services Center (Bay St. Louis, Mississippi).


How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

This position is announced under Direct Hire authority. A Human Resources Specialist will review your resume to determine if you meet the qualifications and eligibility requirements as listed in 'Requirements'.

CTAP and ICTAP candidates will be assessed using NASA STARS, an automated system that matches the competencies extracted from your resume to the competencies identified by the selecting official for the position. Based on the competencies you match, you are placed in one of three categories identified as 90, 80, or 70 point quality categories, which are defined as:

90 pt. Category - Tentatively meets (until subsequent confirmation upon referral) the basic qualification requirements identified in the vacancy announcement and has experience in the same or similar job that has demonstrated superior proficiency in the primary requirements of the position.

80 pt. Category - Tentatively meets (until subsequent confirmation upon referral) the basic qualification requirements identified in the vacancy announcement and demonstrates satisfactory proficiency in the primary requirements of the position.

70 pt. Category - Fails to meet criteria described in the 80 pt. category.

For the purpose of the CTAP and ICTAP, candidates rated in the top quality (90 pt.) category are considered well-qualified.