Lead Aerospace Integration Technician (Former Employee) – Palo Alto, CA – July 27, 2018
Decent company to work at. They do tend to care more about the shareholders than the employees which means a lot of random layoffs. Also seem to be in limbo when it comes to what direction they want to head in.
Spacecraft Configuration Intern (Former Employee) – Palo Alto, CA – June 25, 2018
This is a great place to work and learn about satellites and aerospace engineering. There are always plenty of projects to be a part of. Plenty of co-works are always willing to help you. The weather is nice. There are plenty of tours available for new employees and interns. I gained experience with satellites and 3D modeling and prototyping. Making friends with the intern peers was a highlight. Every couple weeks there is a company or department barbecue.
Lead Payload Engineer (Current Employee) – Palo Alto, CA – May 28, 2018
SSL is a company that stands alone in the field of satellites engineering. Few companies have the resources and the experience to capitalize on a market as unique as satellite engineering. Over the past 5 years SSL has moved to develop its business plans to look at expanding it's product line and working in all aspects of space technology. The lower level employees and mid level managers all work incredibly hard to enable the company's greatest potential. The future of SSL stands to be incredibly successful and profitable, pushing it into the forefront of the aerospace industry
However, the executive management of the company is doing much to little and way to late. SSL peaked about 5 years ago, winning its record for most GEO satellite contracts in a year. At the time the executive management knew the future would likely not have many contracts to win and chose not to innovate. They decided it was better to appease their customers and tighten their belt line rather than explore any new business ideas. 5 years later, after multiple layoffs and re-orgs, they're finding a lack of money and time preventing any real development of new business from becoming a reality.
This has resulted in a stagnant work environment where rumors spread like cancer and many people have jumped ship. Empty promises of things getting better and no yearly raises while operating in one of the most expensive parts of the US is slowly choking SSL's ability to be a strong competitor in its chosen market. While many talented high quality engineers remain at the company, the executive managementmore... fails to support them in any meaningful way. Too often projects abruptly halt due to lack of funds and the company desperately hopes one will turn into a cash cow without needing full development.less
Structural Analyst/Engineer Internship (Former Employee) – Palo Alto, CA – May 6, 2018
Everyone is very kind and willing to help one another. Overtime is expected in order to finish projects on time but is not mandatory. Great company gatherings and events. Overall good company to work for.
Company events, able to move to different positions
CORE Engineering Intern (Former Employee) – Palo Alto, CA – April 18, 2018
Working as an intern in the Spacecraft Systems CORE was a great introduction into the aerospace industry. Coworkers were friendly and willing to lend a hand, and there was plenty of on-the-job learning about the process of constructing a satellite from start to finish.
Sr. Business Systems Analyst (Former Employee) – Palo Alto, CA – April 10, 2018
The company is located in the heart of the Silicon Valley which, for an Aero Space company - and previous Philco Ford company, made it stand out. There is and was quite a bit of Aero Space development in the valley and it dovetailed nicely into the budding and booming Technology sector which has since dominated the region.
Product Design Engineer (Former Employee) – Palo Alto, CA – April 9, 2018
I've learned alot at the company, mostly due to the amazing people around me. Overall the work isn't hard, just borderline menial. The company is afraid of changing, and embracing new technology which has put it far behind its competitors.
Overall company approach to process improvements is : If it ain't broke don't fix it, which can be extremely frustrating as existing processes are slow and cumbersome.
Also, they've had a company wide "freeze" on merit based raises for the past 3 years.
Also no fringe benefits like free lunch, just barely got coffee machines.
Great Industry. Terrible upper management. Awful financial incentives
Mechanical Vehicle Engineer (Current Employee) – Palo Alto, CA – March 23, 2018
The work is very enjoyable. The people that work here do it because the industry and product are exciting and something to be proud about. No one is here because of monetary benefits. Typical raises range from nothing to 1%. This is not enough to compete with inflation or a strong economy, especially in a location surrounded by booming tech industry and extremely competitive housing. Management talks to their investors and does not do enough to retain talent. HR discourages too much positive feedback to limit employee ambition toward promotions or raises. If you are entrenched in the company, you have a good benefits package. If you are a new employee you may receive a fairly competitive package. If you have been with the company for 3 to 10 years, you have received no increased wages, additional responsibilities, and very little effort to be retained. It is not a good short term outlook for new employees.
Fantastic Industry, Lean culture allows for many experiences and impact on the product, Typically good working hours.
N/A (Current Employee) – Palo Alto, CA – March 11, 2018
Great place to work, very interesting and challenging technical topics (we build, and fly satellites). Very good benefits. However, even though the headquarters are in Palo Alto CA, salaries are definitely not on par with what's needed to live there.
Environmental/Design Verification Test Engineer (Former Employee) – Palo Alto, CA – February 19, 2018
I enjoyed the work. I enjoyed the environment. It was exciting to work in Aerospace. I was paid well, and the people were great to work with. I had just started a new family, and needed benefits. I was working as a contractor (for 2 yrs). They didn't have any plans for conversion, so I went looking for a job with health benefits.
Interesting product and good people but lack of vision, benefits and low pay
Mechanical Engineer Specialist (Current Employee) – Palo Alto, CA – February 7, 2018
As a space company, SSL seems to be banking off the "cool" factor. You can learn a lot and work with great people. When I started there, the benefits (health insurance, paid time off, continuing education) were great but have deteriorated within the past 5 years once we were acquired by a Canadian firm. The commercial space industry is challenging and I can see the management trying to "silicon valley-ize" the company - we finally get free coffee and tea! And there are improvements to the facilities underway as well as morale building events. But, in the end, lack of career advancement, deteriorating benefits, low pay, long hours, lack of training/mentorship will keep SSL down as a go-to place to work in Silicon Valley. (As a caveat, it does look like all health benefits are going in the toilet when asking other friends at different companies.)
Space Power Systems & Control Electronics Intern (Former Employee) – Palo Alto, CA – January 30, 2018
I recommend working at SSL if you are passionate about science and are a self starter. There are many needs in the production of a satellite, so if you see an opportunity to contribute you are welcome to do so.