NASA has a job with a six-figure salary that requires one to protect Earth from aliens
If you are on the lookout for a six-figure salary, then the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has something interesting to offer.
Currently, the U.S. space agency NASA is on the hunt for its next “Planetary Protection Officer” (PPO) with an annual pay check between $124,406 and $187,000, plus benefits. The job title requires the PPO to defend the Earth from alien contamination and also ensure that Earth does not contaminate planets, moons, and other objects during their space exploration. It also requires the selected PPO to help prevent possible alien microbes from spreading on Earth.
The job description reads: “Planetary protection is concerned with the avoidance of organic-constituent and biological contamination in human and robotic space exploration.”
“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 position of PPO came into existence after the U.S. government signed the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 to protect planets and other celestial bodies from contamination by explorers – human and otherwise.
The post has become available because Catherine Conley, who is currently serving as NASA’s PPO, will be vacating the post.
“This new job ad is a result of relocating the position I currently hold to the Office of Safety and Mission Assurance, which is an independent technical authority within NASA,” Conley told Business Insider.
Even though most space missions only have less than one-in-10,000 chance of contaminating an alien world, Conley said the job still demands a keen eye for detail.
“It’s a moderate level,” Conley described the difficulty of the job. “It’s not extremely careful, but it’s not extremely lax.”
The role is open to those with “broad engineering experience”, willingness to travel and to be drug tested. However, applicants who are interested in applying for the job need to meet a few requirements listed by NASA.
- Advanced degree in physical science, engineering or mathematics
- At least one year of experience as a top-level civilian government employee
- Advanced knowledge of planetary protection
- Demonstrated experience planning, executing or overseeing elements of space programs of national significance
- Demonstrated diplomatic skills
The role would be offered initially for a 3-year work term which may extend for another two years. It could also probably require involvement in NASA’s upcoming missions, which may include a planned trip to Jupiter’s moon Europa in the 2020s.
The post is open to US citizens or U.S. nationals only.
You can read the full job description here. If interested, you have until August 14, 2017 to apply.