Off World

Want to Protect Planet Earth? NASA Is Hiring a Planetary Protection Officer

You will have to make sure no off-world life makes it back to Earth.

Do you have broad engineering expertise, a year or more at a GS-15 job, and an interest in protecting planet Earth? If so, you could apply for NASA’s Planetary Protection Officer role. According to the job listing, you’ll attain secret security clearance as long as you have the skills to ensure that “organic-constituent and biological contamination” doesn’t stow away on a space ship headed for home and wreak havoc on the big blue marble. You will also need to be ready to lead, because you’ll be “responsible for the leadership of NASA’s planetary protection capability, maintenance of planetary protection policies, and oversight of their implementation by NASAs space flight missions.”

Image Credit: Tatiana T/Flickr
Image Credit: Tatiana T/Flickr

Qualified candidates will also need to demonstrate the right stuff in the form of “advanced knowledge of Planetary Protection,” and “skills in diplomacy that resulted in win-win solutions during extremely difficult and complex multilateral discussions.” In other words, you can’t just laser blast your way out of a tough spot; this role entails heavy intellectual lifting.The job also includes frequent travel, a financial disclosure, and drug-testing. Benefits include a six-figure salary between $124,406 and $187,000 annually, and possibly the most awesome-sounding job title of all time.

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