Guidance Navigation and Control Summer Internship

Job Details

Job ID: 12501

New ideas are all around us, but only a few will change the world. That’s our focus at JPL. We ask the biggest questions, then search the universe for answers—literally. We build upon ideas that have guided generations, then share our discoveries to inspire generations to come. Your mission—your opportunity—is to seek out the answers that bring us one step closer. If you’re driven to discover, create, and inspire something that lasts a lifetime and beyond, you’re ready for JPL.


Located in Pasadena, California, JPL has a campus-like environment situated on 177 acres in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains and offers a work environment unlike any other: we inspire passion, foster innovation, build collaboration, and reward excellence.


To cultivate the next generation leaders in the field of spacecraft guidance, navigation, and control (GN&C), the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory is offering a unique internship program affording undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to work side-by–side with GN&C experts designing and testing spacecraft for upcoming missions. Potential opportunities exist on flight projects such as:


  • Europa Clipper
  • Artemis Lunar Exploration Program - Human Landing System (HLS)
  • Europa Lander
  • Advanced Entry, Descent, and Landing Systems
  • Spacecraft Pointing Control
  • Orbital Rendezvous 
  • Mars Ascent Vehicle
  • Vision-Based Navigation Systems
  • Spacecraft Testing 
  • GN&C Sensors and Actuators


What’s in it for You

  • Work side-by–side with GN&C experts on first-of-its-kind missions.
  • Gain a comprehensive understanding of what it takes to be a Guidance & Control Engineer.
  • Develop and foster a network of professionals to help you succeed in both your academic development and career aspirations to be a Guidance, Navigation, & Control Engineer.
  • Provide you with experience desirable for future internships and full-time positions in Guidance, Navigation, & Control.


What It Takes

  • Must be currently pursuing a Bachelor’s, Master’s, or PhD degree.
  • Studying a major related to Guidance, Navigation, & Control with at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA on a 4.0 scale
  • Availability to work 40 hours/week during the 2021 summer months.


What Would Help


Our ideal candidate will have an interest in Guidance, Navigation, & Control along with a strong desire to continue on an academic path necessary for a career in Guidance, Navigation, & Control. This will be evident by successful completion of one or more of the courses described below along with a strong desire to remain on the Guidance, Navigation, & Control academic path.


  • Feedback Control Systems
  • Principles of Autonomy and Decision Making
  • Dynamic Systems & Control
  • Feedback Control Systems
  • Stochastic Estimation and Control
  • Recursive Estimation
  • Principles of Optimal Control
  • Dynamic Programming and Stochastic Control
  • Digital Control
  • Estimation
  • Structural Dynamics and Vibrations
  • Machine Vision / Computer Vision
  • Laser and Optics
  • Multivariable Control Systems
  • Nonlinear Control System Design
  • Adaptive Control: Theory and Applications
  • Dynamics of Nonlinear Systems
  • Optimization Methods
  • Introduction to Mathematical Programming
  • Nonlinear Programming
  • Convex Analysis and Optimization
  • Integer Program Combination Optimization
  • Principles of Autonomy and Decision Making
  • Advanced Estimation for GPS and Inertial Navigation
  • Aircraft Stability and Control
  • Spacecraft Dynamics & Control
  • Astrodynamics


Work Authorization

Ability to Obtain Work Authorization

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JPL is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to sex, race, color, religion, national origin, citizenship, ancestry, age, marital status, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, pregnancy or perceived pregnancy, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, protected military or veteran status or any other characteristic or condition protected by Federal, state or local law.

In addition, JPL is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor.

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The Jet Propulsion Laboratory is a federal facility. Due to rules imposed by NASA, JPL will not accept applications from citizens of designated countries or those born in a designated country unless they are Legal Permanent Residents of the U.S or have other protected status under 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3). The Designated Countries List is available here.