Science and TechSpace


You Could Be NASA's New Planetary Protection Officer

If you got the job, you'd protect NASA's search for alien life — and make six figures.
Posted at 11:38 AM, Aug 03, 2017

NASA needs a new planetary protection officer. Will you be the next one to guard the galaxy?

It's not nearly as dangerous as it sounds. Instead of fighting alien life, planetary protection officers make sure we don't unknowingly bring Earth life elsewhere.

They clean and sterilize equipment sent to space and make sure samples brought back to Earth aren't contaminated.

It might sound a bit like a cosmic janitor, but the role is incredibly important.

Let's say NASA thinks it discovered life on Mars but doesn't realize the microbes it found actually came from Earth. All of that research would be skewed.

Even something as simple as a sneeze could ruin the agency's efforts years into the future.

If you're up for protecting the hunt for alien life, NASA has posted the job online.

And if you need more motivation, you could make up to $187,000 a year.