Are you currently stuck in a meaningless and boring job? Do you like science fiction movies like Independence Day (the first one, not that crappy second one) and Men in Black? Do you have a hankering to work for NASA? Well, there might be job opening that has your name written all over it. Because… Aliens.
NASA has a new job opening for what it calls a “Planetary Protection Officer”, whose duties will be to help protect the Earth from alien infestations. More specifically, the job posting describes, “Planetary protection is concerned with the avoidance of organic-constituent and biological contamination in human and robotic space exploration.”
In other words, the Planetary Protection Officer would be tasked with ensuring that astronauts that travel into space, to the moon, or to even distant plants like Mars don’t return home with alien critters that may (or may not) be looking to take over and inhabit our home planet. Likewise, this position also entails ensuring that humans traveling into space don’t contaminate other worlds.
While such a position might seem a bit “out there” to you, it actually has its origins in Article IX from the Outer Space Treaty of 1967:
States Parties to the Treaty shall pursue studies of outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, and conduct exploration of them so as to avoid their harmful contamination and also adverse changes in the environment of the Earth resulting from the introduction of extraterrestrial matter and, where necessary, shall adopt appropriate measures for this purpose.
NASA isn’t looking for slackers for this position, so be aware of the stiff requirements for applying. At least a bachelor’s degree is required, although an advanced degree in engineering, mathematics or physical science is preferable. You will also have need to hold a GS-15-level position for at least one year before applying. Oh, and since NASA must work with a number of countries around the globe for space exploration, you’ll need “skills in diplomacy that resulted in win-win solutions during extremely difficult and complex multilateral discussions.”
In return, you can expect to receive a salary that ranges from $124,406 to $187,000. It’s a full-time position, with an initial appointment period of three years (this can be extended an additional two years).
Do you have what it takes to protect the Earth from alien invaders? Hit up this website to see how you can apply.