If you’ve ever imagined saving planet earth from alien invaders, then you might want to consider the Planetary Protection Officer position with NASA. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is seeking a person with a secret-level security clearance to ensure “organic-constituent and biological contamination” aren’t an issue. For your time, you’ll receive an annual salary between $124,406 and $187,000.
As reported by MSN, there’s more to the job than potentially fighting off aliens. The selected individual will also be “responsible for the leadership of NASA’s planetary protection capability, maintenance of planetary protection policies, and oversight of their implementation by NASA’s space flight missions,” based on the job posting.
The core purpose behind the work relates to instances where space flight missions may “intentionally or unintentionally” return to Earth carrying “samples from extraterrestrial targets of exploration.”
The successful candidate must possess, “advanced knowledge of Planetary Protection,” have prior experience providing oversight for significant space programs on a national level, and clearly demonstrate their “skills in diplomacy that resulted in win-win solutions during extremely difficult and complex multilateral discussions.”
Many of the job duties are administrative in nature. The selected person will likely be responsible for “developing requirements, performing technical assessments, and preparing recommendations for leadership,” in regards to the program based on the prior experience requirements.
NASA also notes that “frequent travel may be required,” though the posting doesn’t specify whether that will be on planet Earth. It also lists the job as a “drug-testing designated position,” so that may eliminate some people from contention.
The ideal applicant also either possess a college degree in a relevant discipline, such as engineering, mathematics, or physical science, as well as a minimum level of course work in key areas like physical science and various engineering categories like electronics, dynamics, properties of materials, and mechanics. A bachelor’s degree is considered the minimum, but an advanced degree is preferred.
Based on the job announcement, interested applicants have until August 14 to apply.