Looking for a fresh career challenge? NASA is searching for a planetary protection officer to protect Earth from extraterrestrial contamination.
While the job title may conjure up images of Will Smith in “Independence Day,” the role, which has a salary of up to $187,000 a year, requires a very unique set of scientific skills.
Part of the Office of Safety and Mission Assurance for Planetary Protection, the job involves “avoidance of organic-constituent and biological contamination in human and robotic space exploration,” according to the intriguing job description posted on usajobs.gov.
In addition to safeguarding samples from “extraterrestrial targets” that are brought back to Earth, the planetary protection officer will also be responsible for preventing contamination from “Earth organisms and organic constituents” on missions into space.
The successful candidate will lead efforts to ensure that robotic and human space missions comply with federal and international standards on how space matter is handled.