NASA has had some pretty great job openings over the last few years. Who could forget when they were looking for people to spend 2 months lying in bed, and get paid for it! Last month we covered an article on their recruitment process for Space School.

Now NASA is on the hunt again but this time for a position that is literally out of this world.

Currently seeking applicants for the prestigious role of Planetary Protection Officer, NASA has once again found a way to make headlines around the world for their recruiting efforts.

In technical terms they are looking for someone to help with the ‘avoidance of organic-constituent and biological contamination in human and robotic space exploration’.

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The job advert goes on the mention that ”space flight missions may intentionally or unintentionally carry Earth organisms and organic constituents to the planets or other solar system bodies’ and return ‘to Earth and its biosphere with samples from extraterrestrial targets of exploration’, leaving us in the dark about exactly what the job will entail.

With security clearance for the role described as ‘secret’, current Guardian of the Galaxy Catharine Conley isn’t giving away many secrets, although she was presented with a pair of sunglasses on her first day on the job – something ominously reminiscent to Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones from Men in Black, so we’re expecting something pretty special behind the scenes.

Although certain perks like a company spacecraft are not mentioned, the job advert says that ‘frequent travel may be required’, although whether that is simply on Earth, or around the solar system is yet to be specified.

With an attractive salary ranging from between $124,000-$187,000USD, applicants are expected to have a degree in physical science, engineering or mathematics and be apply to apply diplomacy in situations that result in ‘win-win’ situations.

As much as this might sound like the perfect role for you, sadly only applicants from the US will be considered for the role.

One such applicant, 9 year old Jack Davis from New Jersey may qualify as the youngest ever applicant for the role, and has grabbed NASA’s attention in the process.


“I may be nine but I think I would be a fit for the job,” Jack states in the handwritten letter.

For work experience, Jack lists having seen almost all the space and alien movies he can, and is on the case when it comes to career development.

“I have also seen the show Marvel Agents of Shield and hope to see the movie Men in Black.”

Selling himself on his key strengths and ability to quickly learn and apply new concepts, he writes: “I’m great at video games”. “I am young, so I can learn to think like an Alien.”

Jack even got a phone call from Planetary Research Director Jonathan Rall, thanking him for his application and giving him a few pointers.

While it looks like Jack won’t be getting the job offer anytime soon, he was given some positive encouragement.

“We are always looking for bright future scientists and engineers to help us, so I hope you will study hard and do well in school,” Green said. “We hope to see you here at NASA one of these days”.

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