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United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Office of Commercial Space Transportation (AST) Careers

Promotional Video for "Find Your Place In Space" Panel Discussion

Find Your Place In Space Panel Discussion

Find Your Place in Space? Join the race to space in the exciting field of commercial space transportation! As an aerospace engineer, environmental protection specialist program manager, or management and program analyst, you will work in the exciting and innovative transportation sector and work on the latest developments for space flight, including private human space flight and space tourism. We are accepting resumes from applicants seeking challenging career opportunities.

AST focuses on aerospace applications to support its safety responsibilities through the licensing and regulating of commercial space launches and reentries, and the operation of launch and reentry sites.

Employees selected for these positions will:

  • Work in a unique high-performance organization to analyze and conduct safety evaluations of proposed space transportation activities. These activities involve the launch or reentry of expendable and reusable launch vehicles and operation of non-federal launch and reentry sites.
  • Assess the safety of a wide variety of leading-edge technologies and systems including reusable launch vehicles and expendable launch vehicles.
  • Perform safety inspections of commercial launch and launch site operations to ensure compliance with safety and regulatory requirements.
  • Work with industry and other federal agencies to promote and create policies to facilitate commercial space transportation.
  • Perform challenging and rewarding work on the development of public safety standards and requirements addressing new reusable and expendable launch vehicle concepts and operations, and emerging space sectors including space tourism.

Commercial Space Transportation vacancies:

If you are a U.S. citizen and have education, training, or experience in one or more of these skill sets, consider AST. 

AST offers:

  • interaction with leading "space" organizations (i.e., federal agencies, associations, and private firms);
  • a dual-purpose mission committed to both safety and entrepreneurial development of the industry;
  • a front row seat in an evolving industry with new technologies and new companies.

Most positions are in the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. However, other duty locations include Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida; Houston, Texas; Vandenberg Space Force Base and Los Angeles, California.
To request additional information or submit your resume, please send an email.

Commercial Space Transportation Skill Sets

Education, training or experience in one or more of these skill sets is necessary.

Aerospace Vehicle Systems

  • Flight Dynamics (reentry dynamics; Monte Carlo simulation, six-degree of freedom modeling; stall, including takeoff and landing, for subsonic, supersonic and hypersonic speeds)
  • Command and Control (open and closed loop tests; stability analysis and testing)
  • Qualification/Acceptance Testing of Vehicle and Ground Systems
  • Tracking (translators and transponders for GPS, radar and other systems)
  • Link Analyses (antennas, receivers, transmitters, plume attenuation)
  • Propulsion (jet, solid, liquid, electric, nuclear, scram jet)
  • Communication (voice, telemetry, command and control)
  • Frequency Standards/Requirements/ Monitoring
  • Attitude Control (cold gas, bi- and mono- propellant)
  • Sensors (star, engine, system, horizon, structure)
  • Health Monitoring (sensors, processors)
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics
  • Automatic Fail-Over Systems
  • Maintenance/Inspections
  • Back-up Power Supplies
  • Satellite Technology
  • Flight Worthiness
  • Navigation
  • Thermal
  • Loads

System Safety/Quality Assurance Engineering

  • Aerospace Flight Safety (flight dynamics, trajectory dynamics, safety limits analyses, Monte Carlo simulation, hazards and risk analyses, range safety officer functions, range surveillance and notice requirements)
  • Hazardous Materials/Explosives (modeling; inspections; radio-nuclear; dispersion modeling; toxic/hazardous materials; quantity/distance standards; solid and liquid propellant safety; ordnance testing, storage, handling, installation and transportation)
  • Ground Processing Safety (security, inspections, hazardous processing standards/requirements, scheduling around hazardous processing conflicts)
  • Human Factors (ergonomics, human error potentials, fatigue and rest standards)
  • Human Spaceflight (spacecraft life support systems, space environment effect, space habitat design, occupant safety)
  • Reliability Analysis
  • Quality Assurance 
  • System Safety (statistics; hazard analysis; MEA, fault tree, sneak circuit and functional analysis)

Structural/Mechanical Engineering

  • Thermal Engineering (thermal loads from equipment, launch- and reentry-induced thermal loads, thermal protection systems and capabilities, active and passive thermal control and dissipation)
  • Fracture Mechanics and Fatigue
  • Electromechanical Devices
  • Metals and Composites
  • Form, Fit and Function
  • NASTRAN Modeling
  • Pressure Vessels
  • Maintenance
  • Inspections
  • Hydraulics

Software Engineering

  • Artificial Intelligence/Autonomous Systems Operation
  • Design, Development, Documentation and Testing
  • Independent Verification and Validation
  • System Safety
  • Simulation


  • Adverse Weather
  • Forecasting
  • Space Weather Issues
  • Wind Measurements


  • Budget Formulation and Execution
  • Economic Analysis
  • Launch Forecasting
  • Managing contracts
  • Overseeing administrative and management programs
  • Policy and standards development
  • Rulemaking development
  • Space Transportation Analysis
  • Workforce Engagement

Environmental Assessment

  • Conducting environmental studies, to mitigate the relevant negative effects prior to making decisions and commitments
  • Identifying, estimating, and evaluating the environmental impacts of existing and proposed projects

Last updated: Wednesday, August 30, 2023