Have you dreamt of defending the Earth from alien life forms? Then stop everything because Nasa is looking for you.
The official job title, posted on Twitter a few days ago, is ‘Planetary Protection Officer’ and your job would essentially be to protect us from alien bacteria. Sounds easy enough, until you go and watch ‘Life’ starring Jake Gyllenhaal and you start re-thinking how fit you are for the task.
But on a more serious note — the job is actually not as sci-fi as it sounds. The position is part of Nasa’s policies for protecting us from organisms and biological contaminants that might be brought back from space missions, intentionally or not. If being chosen for this job, part of your duties would be leading Nasa’s planetary protection capability, maintaining planetary protection policies, and overseeing their implementation by Nasa’s space flight mission. Basically, you’d be the space equivalent of Australia’s border protection. Additionally, you can except to be paid around $124,406 to $187,000 for the role.
— NASA People (@NASApeople) August 2, 2017
The job listing does have some criteria. Among other things, you need to be willing to travel frequently, possess broad engineering expertise, have advanced knowledge of planetary protection, have a (preferably advanced) degree in physical science, engineering or mathematics, and be willing to get drug-tested. Oh and obviously you can’t tell anyone what you do on your super secret missions, otherwise you might have to use your memory-wiper gizmo on them.