If you’ve ever seen the movie “Men In Black” and thought you have what it takes to protect the planet from unwanted alien life forms, then NASA has the job for you.
NASA is looking to hire a planetary protection officer to keep the planet safe from any potential extraterrestrial contamination and it’s willing to pay the right person a generous six-figure salary — $124,406 to $187,000 a year — to do it.
The person hired will also get a “secret” security clearance and be tasked with creating and implementing programs that stop astronauts and robots from getting contaminated by alien material, or contaminating alien planets for that matter, during space travel.
“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 advertisement reads. “This policy is based on federal requirements and international treaties and agreements.”
The position is time-limited to three years, with an option to extend for two more at the end of the project. The planetary protection officer is a leadership position responsible for advising the chief and other officials in regards to the planetary protection objectives.
This job isn’t likely to go to just anyone though, candidates are expected to have “advanced knowledge of Planetary Protection,” as well as advanced degrees in science, math or physics.
Job requirements include a financial disclosure statement (presumably to ensure you’re not getting kickbacks from the planet of Asgard), drug testing (we can’t have anyone freaking out when confronted with an alien species) and frequent travel (no mention of whether or not that’s intergalactic or strictly Earth-bound travel).
NASA neither confirmed nor denied the existence of alien life forms in the job post.