NASA Is Hiring A Planetary Protection Officer

Coolest. Job title. Ever.

Image by Ivan/Flickr.

Have you ever dreamed of defending the Earth from dangerous extraterrestrials, like Will Smith does in “Independence Day”? Have you ever fantasized about discovering alien life hidden among humans, like Will Smith does in “Men in Black”? Well if you meet the incredibly stringent qualifications, there’s an opening right now at NASA for a “Planetary Protection Officer.”

According to a job posting at, NASA is looking for a highly-qualified individual to protect the planet from dangerous life forms that astronauts, satellites, and spacecraft accidentally bring back from space.

Here’s an excerpt from the posting:

“Planetary protection is concerned with the avoidance of organic-constituent and biological contamination in human and robotic space exploration. 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 are intended to return to Earth and its biosphere with samples from extraterrestrial targets of exploration.”

In addition to having the coolest job title on Earth, it pays well too. The salary ranges from $124,406 to $187,000 per year. But to be considered for the position, candidates must have “broad engineering expertise” and “advanced knowledge of planetary protection.” They must also qualify for secret clearance so they can be trusted not to blab to “Unsealed Alien Files” the moment they run into a Roswell alien.

via Barry Schapiro / Twitter

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