THE National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has advertised a job opening for Planetary Protection Officer (PPO), who will defend the Earth from aliens invasion.
The rare position, which is based at Nasa’s headquarters in Washington DC, requires the successful applicant to defend the earth from alien contamination.
The planetary protection officer is responsible for ensuring any alien microbes to do not destroy the Earth and stop astronauts from contaminating other worlds.
The three-year role also attracts a five-figure salary starting at £94,213 ($124,406) with a possibility of rising to £141,615 ($187,00).
The job advertisement states: “The Planetary Protection Officer (PPO) is responsible for the leadership of Nasa’s planetary protection capability, maintenance of planetary protection policies, and oversight of their implementation by Nasa’s space flight missions.”
Catharine Conley, who held the position of planetary protection after being hired in 2014, told the Business Insider: “This new job ad is a result of relocating the position I currently hold to the Office of Safety and Mission Assurance, which is an independent technical authority within Nasa.”
Ms. Conley does not say whether she planned to reapply for the position, which is held for at least three years but may be extended to five years.
But she did reveal that only two such full-time roles exist in the world, one at Nasa and the other at the European Space Agency.
Many space agencies hire planetary protection officers but they are often shared or part-time roles.
The position was created after the US ratified the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, specifically to support Article IX of the document.
It says: “States Parties to the Treaty shall pursue studies of outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, and conduct exploration of them so as to avoid their harmful contamination and also adverse changes in the environment of the Earth resulting from the introduction of extraterrestrial matter and, where necessary, shall adopt appropriate measures for this purpose.”
Nasa is accepting applications at USAJobs.gov from July 13 through to August 14.
Non-US citizens or nationals are technically not eligible for the government position due to an executive order signed by former President Gerald Ford in 1976 – but exceptions can be made “when necessary to promote the efficiency of the service in specific cases or for temporary appointments”.