NASA Is Looking to Hire Someone to Defend Earth Against Alien Contamination
What’s up, guys? Justin here for Complex News.
If you’ve ever wanted to protect the Earth from alien invasion, you may soon have your chance—and you can make some big bucks in the process.
NASA is looking for a Planetary Protection Officer, and is accepting applications now. The position may sound like something out of Men In Black or Independence Day, but there’s not much chance of you doing this:
Instead, the job involves trying to uphold the Outer Space Treaty of 1967. That document set up the rules for space exploration. In that piece of paper—Article nine, if you’re reading along at home—it says that all countries that go into space have to set up rules to make sure they avoid, quote, “harmful contamination and also adverse changes in the environment of the Earth resulting from the introduction of extraterrestrial matter.” Basically, we want to make sure that any no space microbes get to the planet from any of the places we might visit, and that we don’t accidentally send dangerous microbes to other planets, either.
The treaty says that any mission to space must have a one-in-ten-thousand chance (or less) of contaminating the planet with space germs. The last person to hold the job, Caroline Conley, would like to see those odds even higher.
“It’s a moderate level. It’s not extremely careful, but it’s not extremely lax.”
The money might be another enticement to apply. The job pays up to $187,000 a year. But that’s probably because it seems very difficult. You need diplomatic skills, to deal with all the other countries sending stuff up into space. You’ve also got to have an advanced degree in physical science, engineering, or mathematics. But if you go through the gauntlet, you’ll end up with both a nice paycheck and a secret security clearance—and we all know the reason for that last part.
You’ve got until August 14th to apply and find out if the truth really is out there. For Complex News, I’m Justin Block.
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