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NASA Wants To Pay You A Six-Figure Salary To Protect The Earth From Aliens

It seems like a perfect job, right? Kind of a superhero-y, defending the planet from bad aliens, perhaps with a splendid outfit, maybe a supergalactic weapon of some sort? Not really, but NASA truly is looking to fill the spot of “Planetary Protection Officer” (PPO), and you can fill and submit your application here.

The position is essentially pretty high ranking and the pay’s really not bad, with the salary promised up to $187,000. But then, if you are tasked with a mission to protect the Earth from alien contamination on Earth, we shouldn’t really be scrimping. 
OK, you probably don't get the outfit. Lia Koltyrina/Shutterstock

The position was made after the agreement of the Outer Space Treaty in 1967. It requires making sure humans, in the throes of space exploration, don’t contaminate any planets, moons, or other objects existing with in space, and – just as essentially – avoid any unwelcome extraterrestrial microbes from returning to Earth.

The Treaty states that any space mission permitted must have a less than 1-in-10,000 chance of contaminating an alien world.

At the moment there are just two full-time PPOs on the Planet, currently – one at NASA and one at ESA – so you’d be joining a rather high-class club, which is why the key abilities and skills required are pretty explicit. It is also now part of the Office of Safety and Mission Assurance for Planetary Protection.

You’ll must have an advanced degree in science, engineering, or maths, or a grouping of a degree and work experience, have at least a year’s experience as a top-level government employee, technical engineering know-how, and “advanced knowledge” of planetary protections. You’ll also need evident skill in planning, supervising, and executing space missions of “national significance”.

The job will comprise traveling the world to visit space stations and to examine the gear to be used in forthcoming missions, such as the Mars 2020 rover or the Europa Clipper. It also involves "secret" security authorization, so “demonstrated skills in diplomacy” is listed as necessary.

You have until August 14 toapply. So if you have what it takes to be Earth’s protector apply now for the job.

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