If you're a fan of Independence Day, Alien, or E.T. you may want to look into this new job opening from NASA.

Honestly, if you are a fan of any movie in which aliens invade Earth and a group of unsung heroes save the day, this is your dream job.

NASA has recently posted a position which can be summed up as protect the Earth from aliens. The official title is the planetary protection officer. Kudos to NASA for giving this job a name that sounds just as cool as the job requirements.

What will the planetary protection officer do?

According to NASA's posting, "[planetary] protection is concerned with the avoidance of organic-constituent and biological contamination in human and robotic space exploration."

Organic/biological = alien life.


Pretty much NASA wants to make sure we don't accidentally bring back anything that could be harmful to Earth or any other planet.

The listing also 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 NASAs space flight missions.

How does one qualify for the coolest job ever?

You have to have a degree in engineering, mathematics, or physical science. Of course, prior experience is necessary. NASA is asking that the prospective PPO have at least one year experience in a position that was or comparable to a GS-15 level.

I Googled what GS-15 was and it is the second highest level of pay for federal government positions. It is the top supervisor level.

So, you're defending the planet from foreign invaders. How much does that pay you?

According the NASA posting being the defender of Earth pays $124,406 to $187,000. Honestly, defending an entire planet seems like it would pay a bit more than that, but hey it's not about the money.


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