NASA Opens Position to Help Protect Earth From Aliens

Scientists+at+a+NASA+laboratory

via NASA

Scientists at a NASA laboratory

Protecting Earth from aliens isn’t as crazy as it may sound. Scientists have been concerned with keeping the Earth clean from alien microbes brought in from sample-return capsules shot into space. These microbes can pollute Earth. NASA came up with the solution, the position of “Planetary Protection Officer”. This job was created a few years ago, but the current Planetary Protection Officer has retired, and NASA is looking for a replacement. The job requirements are to make sure alien microbes that can be brought in by astronauts returning from space don’t pollute Earth’s environment, as well as make sure that astronauts going into space don’t bring things that could disturb potential life on other planets. The alien microbes in question are merely theoretical, and there is no proof of such microbes existing. However, their existence is very likely, and if they were to exist, they could potentially make all life on Earth extinct. For instance, the theoretical microbes could poison Earth’s oxygen, live like a parasite inside of organic beings, or even worse!

This job is somewhat easy to do, as its primary role is to simply check astronauts, space probes, and capsules for microbes. However, the job pays extremely well. The job’s salary can range from $124,406 to $187,000! Not only is the pay high, but they will also receive a level 3 security clearance. A security clearance is a permit that gives a person permission to know about various government secrets. The highest level of a security clearance is a level 5. The higher the level, the more access to proprietary government information. For instance, the director of the CIA would have a level 5, while a lower level CIA agent would only have a level 1 clearance. The job’s other roles include advising Safety Mission Assurance Officials on planetary protection matters and ensuring compliance by robotic and human spaceflight missions. This position is not unique though. The European Space Agency has a very similar position also under the title of “Planetary Protection Officer”

The job is open for anyone with a “broad engineering experience” and a “minor experience with planetary protection”. They must also be a minimum of 21 years old. NASA will be accepting applications for the job through August 14, 2018. For those who are interested in the position but not qualified, NASA is offering classes for 14 students to teach them on this subject. To attend these classes however, you must still be at least 18 years old. The first 14 people to attend that meet the requirements will be given the opportunity to learn about the topic of “planetary protection”. While some may not be old enough to sign up for the job now, NASA may be looking for a new Planetary Protection Officer again in a few years.