Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
Washington, DC, United States (4E) – The hero types out there might want to apply for the intriguing new job of “Planetary Protection Officer” currently being advertised by NASA.
This person’s job: protect the Earth from extraterrestrial aliens — of the microbial kind.
Yes, you read that right. Although we haven’t come across signs of intelligent alien life out there in over six decades of trying, NASA believes it’s a prudent move to have someone on this watch in case alien microbes or bacteria travel between the stars and show up on our doorstep one day.
The aliens NASA has in mind won’t be exclaiming, “Take me to your leader,” but will be microscopic microbes that hitch a ride on astronauts returning to Mother Earth from Mars or other planetary bodies.These microorganisms might also be “passengers” on space rocks that strike the Earth.
The pay’s not great — it ranges from $124,406 and $187,000 per year — but who can place a price tag on holding just one of two jobs of this kind in the world?
The new job of Planetary Protection Officer also involves ensuring human space explorers don’t damage other planets, moons and objects in space.
“Planetary protection is concerned with the avoidance of organic-constituent and biological contamination in human and robotic space exploration,” said NASA in the job posting on its website. The job is still open.
Applications are open until August 14, 2017.
The post is for an initial period of three years, but may be extended for an additional two.
There’s only one other job of this kind in the world and it’s with the European Space Agency.
Article – All Rights Reserved.
Provided by FeedSyndicate