Nasa is looking to hire a planetary protection officer and pay him/her a six-figure salary to keep Earth safe from alien contamination.
As it seems, the Men in Black are real. Nasa is looking for someone that can ensure that humans who travel into space don’t contaminate foreign planets and moons, as well as to keep Earth free from alien matter contamination.
As outlandish as the job position sounds, the American National Aeronautics and Space Administration is ready to pay their planetary protection officer as much as $187,000 a year, plus benefits.
The job post for the three-year position reads: “Planetary protection is concerned with the avoidance of organic-constituent and biological contamination in human and robotic space exploration.”
The planetary protection officer position was created after the US signed the 1967 Outer Space Treaty that binds them to “pursue studies of outer space … 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”
According to the treaty, any space mission must have less than a one in 10,000 chance of contaminating an extraterrestrial world. At the same time, the PPO should make sure that any returning – or entering – missions don’t carry potential alien contamination.
But before you get over-excited and send in your resume, it takes a lot to be a PPO. With the only other PPO working for the European Space Agency, candidates are required to have a year’s minimum experience as a top-level civilian government employee, an advanced degree in physical science, engineering or mathematics, as well as “advanced knowledge” of planetary protection.
But the most exciting thing about the job is the “secret” security clearance the new PPO gets. However, sadly enough only US citizens and nationals can apply for the job.