Move over Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, looks like NASA is looking for some real life “Men in Black.”
In a listing on USAJobs.gov, NASA says it’s searching for a “Planetary Protection Officer.” And if you think the work sounds dangerous, at least it pays well, up to $187,000 per year.
The listing reads in part:
This position is assigned to Office of Safety and Mission Assurance for Planetary Protection. Planetary protection is concerned with the avoidance of organic-constituent and biological contamination in human and robotic space exploration.
So,OK, maybe you won’t be running around with Will and Tommy shooting aliens with a laser gun. You won’t just be protecting Earth from “aliens” either. You’ll be protecting alien planets from Earthlings as well.
NASA maintains policies for planetary protection applicable to all space flight missions that may intentionally or unintentionally carry Earth organisms and organic constituents to the planets or other solar system bodies, and any mission employing spacecraft, which are intended to return to Earth and its biosphere with samples from extraterrestrial targets of exploration.
The job, needless to say, requires “some travel.”
Other requirements include a financial disclosure, and pre-employment drug screening, to make sure you’re not too “spaced out.”
In case you are interested in applying, you can do so by clicking here. But make sure you’re qualified first.
1. Advanced knowledge of Planetary Protection, its requirements and mission categories. This includes
demonstrated technical expertise to independently form technically sound judgments and evaluations in
considerably complex situations.
2. Demonstrated experience planning, executing, or overseeing elements of space programs of national
significance. These elements include but are not limited to developing requirements, performing technical
assessments, and preparing recommendations to leadership.
3. Demonstrated skills in diplomacy that resulted in win-win solutions during extremely difficult and
complex multilateral discussions. This includes building coalitions amongst organizations to achieve