A new job was posted on the official employment website of the US Government. It is a position at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, one that is very different from that of an aerospace engineer post. The job is called the Planetary Protection Officer, or PPO for short. Their job will be to protect Earth from any potential alien contamination, and vice versa.
The Planetary Protection Officer Will Be Monitoring Biological Transfer
The Planetary Protection Officer is not quite “that scientist” from every alien invasion movie. Actually, their main job will be to oversee NASA efforts to prevent our biological matter from contaminating future missions to other worlds. This will be especially important in upcoming missions to look for life on icy Europa.
The filing explains the details of the position as required by law.
It reads: “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.”
The contract is for three years, with a possible two-year extension. It pays $124,406 to $187,000 per year and will have a “secret” security clearance. The requirements are fairly stringent, however, as it demands a “broad engineering experience”. It also requires a degree in math or one of the appropriate sciences such as physics, biology, or astronomy. Most likely someone will be selected who has experience leading previous missions with the space agency.
The job posting reads further that to protect Earth the PPO requires coordinating and planning activities relating to NASA’s missions and their planetary protection needs. .Leads independent evaluation of, and provides advice regarding, compliance by robotic and human spaceflight missions with our planetary protection policies, statutory requirements, and international obligations.”
It also “Leads independent evaluation of, and provides advice regarding, compliance by robotic and human spaceflight missions with our planetary protection policies, statutory requirements, and international obligations.”
Those interested in applying must do so up until August 14 and must be Amercian citizens or nationals. There is only one vacancy, and the position is a full-time job. The salary will be a six-figure number, somewhere in between $124,406 to $187,000 per year.
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