If “Independence Day” and “War of the Worlds” are among your favorite films, this might be your dream job.
NASA has posted a job opening for a planetary protection officer. The job involves preventing alien contamination during NASA space missions and stopping alien micro-organisms from reaching Earth. It also covers avoiding contamination of alien worlds by probes or other missions.
OK, so maybe it’s less about blasting alien invaders than in the movies. Also, in order to qualify you must have an advanced degree in engineering, science or math, plus be a recognized expert in planetary protection. You’ll also need to have at least one year of experience as a top-level civilian government employee.
So your résumé may need more than “watches a lot of science fiction” under job experience. Sorry.
On the bright side, the pay’s not bad – $124,406 to $187,000 a year plus benefits – and you can expect “frequent travel.”
You’d also be only one of two full-time planetary protection officers on the, well, planet. (The other works for the European Space Agency.)
And it turns out that defending Earth against aliens isn’t all that stressful.
“It’s a moderate level,” Catharine Conley, the current NASA planetary protection officer, told Business Insider. “It’s not extremely careful, but it’s not extremely lax.”
Conley told the site that the job opening results from the post being switched to a different department within NASA. She declined to say whether she’ll be applying for the new position.
NASA’s accepting applications at USAJobs.gov through Aug. 14.