NASA has a very unusual job listing. The space agency is looking for someone who will protect Earth against extraterrestrials.
Yes, this is for real and no, NASA hasn’t admitted they have discovered aliens, but there is a job open with the title Planetary Protection Officer. According to the job listing, this position “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.”
This means that the person who will be hired must make sure making humans don’t contaminate planets, moons, and other objects in space.
They’re also supposed to help prevent any alien microbes from spreading to Earth. Catharine Conley, NASA’s only planetary protection officer since 2014 says the work is much about dealing with emails and reading studies. NASA offers a salary of up to $187,000. The job was created after the signing of the Outer Space Treaty of 1967.