When NASA posted a job opening for the role of planetary protection officer earlier this week, the agency set one year of experience as a top-civilian government employee and an advanced degree in science or mathematics as its required qualifications.
Well, 9-year-old Jack Davis has neither of those, but he has seen many space movies and is great at video games – so he applied anyway.
Jack, a fourth-grader in New Jersey who described himself as a “Guardian of the Galaxy” in his signature, sent NASA a hand-written letter Thursday asking to be considered for the job, which involves the prevention of alien contamination during space missions.
He received a phone call from Planetary Research Director Jonathan Rall and a letter in response, according to a press release issued Friday. Both congratulated Jack on his interest and encouraged him to do well in school.
“I may be nine but I think I would be fit for the job. One of the reasons is my sister says I am an alien. Also, I have seen almost all the space movies and alien movies I can see,” Jack wrote in his letter.
Planetary Science Director Jim Green penned the response letter. “I hear you are a ‘Guardian of the Galaxy’ and that you’re interested in being a NASA Plantary Protection Officer. That’s great!” Green’s response begins.
“Although the Planetary Protection Officer position may not be in real-life what the title conjures up, it does play an important role in promoting the responsible exploration of our solar system by preventing microbial contamination of other planets and our own,” NASA writes in the press release.