Intern in the OPS-SAT Space Lab

Updated: 3 months ago

Internship Opportunity in the Directorate of Operations.

ESA is an equal opportunity employer, committed to achieving diversity within the workforce and creating an inclusive working environment. We therefore welcome applications from all qualified candidates irrespective of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, beliefs, age, disability or other characteristics. Applications from women are encouraged.


Our team and mission

This position is based at the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) - Darmstadt, Germany

Under the direct authority of the Mission Operations Department, the Astronomy and Fundamental Physics Missions Division is responsible for the ground segment and mission operations implementation for the ESA scientific missions that do not travel into interplanetary space. The responsibilities of the Division start typically from Phase B through in-flight commissioning to routine mission operations until end of mission.

The Division acts as the OPS interface to the ESA Project (and later Mission) Manager of these missions and carries responsibility for all technical, financial and schedule aspects of the ground segment and operations implementation and execution. The Division is responsible for directing and executing flight operations of ESA missions in all mission phases, in particular acting as Flight Operations Director for pre-flight simulations, for Launch and Early Orbit Phase (LEOP) and for critical and commissioning phase operations.

For further information visit our web site:

Field(s) of activity for the internship

Topic: OPS-SAT Space Lab Experimenter Support and Operations

OPS-SAT Space Lab is an international award winning project which for the first time allows European and Canadian external experimenters to develop, load and execute their own software and firmware in space for no cost. Presently the space segment consists of OPS-SAT-1 (launched in 2019) and OPS-SAT VOLT (in development). There are many experimenters using the Lab, ranging from other space agencies such as NASA, JAXA, CNES and DLR, to big primes such as Airbus down to university departments and start-ups. ESA must support the experimenters, helping them get familiar with the OPS-SAT on-board environment and how to control the many sensors, actuators, camera, software defined radio and FPGA.

As an intern, you will provide this support directly interacting with the experimenters and arranging tests of their experiments through the various parts of the lifecycle and finally supervising the tests on the real spacecraft. You will also support the development cycle of OPS-SAT VOLT (optical and quantum communication).  Through these activities, you will be exposed to many of the important domains making up mission control and many of these institutions and companies. 

For more information, please visit this link . 

Behavioural competencies

Result Orientation
Operational Efficiency
Fostering Cooperation
Relationship Management
Continuous Improvement
Forward Thinking


You must have student status and be enrolled at university for the entire duration of the internship. You should preferably be in your final or second to last year of a university course at master’s level in a technical or scientific discipline.

Additional requirements

The working languages of the Agency are English and French. A good knowledge of one of these is required. Knowledge of another Member State language would be an asset.

Additional Requirements:

  • Proven experience in software development (e.g. Linux, Python) is essential and experience in programming FPGAs or cubesat projects would be an asset.

Other information

For behavioural competencies expected from ESA staff in general, please refer to the ESA Competency Framework.

If you require support with your application due to a disability, please email [email protected] .


Please note that applications are only considered from nationals of one of the following States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Nationals from Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Slovenia, as Associate Member States, or Canada as a Cooperating State, can apply as well as those from Bulgaria, Croatia and Cyprus as European Cooperating States (ECS).

Similar Positions