NASA is hiring a “planetary protection officer” who would be tasked to protect the Earth from potential alien contamination. The US government’s official employment site advertised the job which is open to US citizens and nationals for applications until August 14, Newsweek reported on Wednesday. “Planetary protection is concerned with the avoidance of organic-constituent and biological contamination in human and robotic space exploration,” the advertisement said.The person who lands the job will draw a six figure salary — $124,406 to $187,000 per year — and security clearance is listed as “secret.”
“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 is intended to return to Earth and its biosphere with samples from extraterrestrial targets of exploration” the job advert said. “This policy is based on federal requirements and international treaties and agreements,” it added.
Candidates must have “broad engineering expertise,” and should be an expert in planetary protection.”This includes demonstrated technical expertise to independently form technically sound judgments and evaluations in considerably complex situations,” according to the advert.