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Senior Payload Mechanical Engineer

LOCATION - Luxembourg

ispace Europe is seeking a highly motivated and talented Senior Payload Mechanical Engineer to join its team and develop tomorrow’s lunar exploration technologies.

ispace is a Japanese company whose vision is to expand and sustain humanity’s presence in space by utilizing resources available on the Moon. The SORATO rover developed by Team HAKUTO, managed by ispace, won the Google Lunar XPRIZE mobility milestone award and is a finalist for the $20M Grand Prize.

ispace Europe is the company’s newest regional office located in Luxembourg, in the heart of Europe. With support from the Government of Luxembourg, we are designing ispace’s next rover missions that will prospect for lunar water and thereby set the first milestone toward lunar ISRU. We are a small team, motivated by the challenges of the Lunar Frontier, and determined to achieve the company’s vision. 



The Senior Payload Mechanical Engineer will be responsible for the development of sample acquisition & handling tools and for the integration of these tools and other science instruments on the next generation rovers. The position requires strong capabilities in structures and mechanisms. It is a unique opportunity to assemble one-of-a-kind planetary systems to advance our understanding of the Moon. Because our team is lean we rely on every engineer to exhibit a cross-functional mindset, intellectual curiosity, willingness to bridge gaps, appreciation for process, and understanding of the system two levels up and two levels down. The candidate must be self-driven, continuously self-improving, and proud of her/his work.

More specifically, the Payload Mechanical Engineer will:

  • Define instrument-rover mechanical interfaces
  • Coordinate configuration design studies between the instrument teams and rover team in Japan
  • Manage the integration of instruments on rovers
  • Drive the selection and development of soil penetrators and sample handling systems
  • Formalize lunar environmental constraints (properties of lunar regolith properties and behavior of lunar volatiles) into requirements on the penetrators and sampling handling systems
  • Develop requirements with flow downs to subsystem and component levels and associated verification methods
  • Perform trade studies on penetrators and sample handing systems and develop a technology roadmap for ispace to grow its capabilities in these areas
  • Develop detailed hardware fabrication drawings & assembly instructions and oversee procurement of mechanical systems
  • Develop and test breadboard and prototype solutions
  • Define test levels for mechanical launch environments
  • Support new business team with quick sizing and scaling of structural systems
  • Coach the ispace Europe engineering and business teams on anything mechanical
  • Travel occasionally to Japan and to vendor and instrument provider locations


  • Hold BS with 10+ years of relevant experience or MS with 7+ years of relevant experience in mechanical engineering
  • Possess proven track record of developing mechanical products from concept to fabrication
  • Is knowledgeable about structural analysis, material selection, and fabrication processes for spaceflight hardware
  • Has extensive experience with CAD and FEA software packages
  • Experienced with the design and simulation of composite materials
  • Practices additive manufacturing techniques for prototyping and/or flight manufactuing
  • Has Knowledge of Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing (GD&T)
  • Exhibit sound judgment and deep understanding of system-level impact of design choices
  • Be highly organized and capable of planning and executing complex technical work
  • Thrive in multi-disciplinary environment in close cooperation with engineering and business teams
  • Must have excellent interpersonal, organizational, and communication skills
  • Show initiative, leadership, and positive can-do attitude
  • Be comfortable with change and fast-pace environment


  • Design complex mechanisms and/or soil penetrators
  • Be knowledgeable of space environmental tests
  • Has experience with small spacecraft design and integration
  • Take into thermal considerations and perform thermal simulations (e.g. thermal desktop)