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So You'd Like NASA to Hire You to Protect the World from Aliens...

A Few FAQs Regarding One of the Coolest Job Postings in the Universe

By Sam Eichner ·
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Photo: Columbia Pictures
Today, the internet has been abuzz with the news that NASA—you know, that organization that deals with space and stuff—is looking to hire a Planetary Protection Officer.

In other words: someone to help prevent a dude like this from eating us (amongst other, less interesting tasks).

Naturally, this is a pretty significant opportunity. But before you consider quitting your day job, which probably has nothing to do with extraterrestrial organisms, you might want to read through this brief list of unofficial FAQs...

Do I have to know anything about aliens to qualify for this job?
Less knowledge of aliens, per se, and more a grasp of diplomacy, a broad set of engineering skills and “demonstrated experience planning, executing, or overseeing elements of space programs of national significance.” 

That sucks because the thing is I asked that previous question in the hopes that you did have to know stuff about aliens, which I totally do.
Uh-huh. We thought so.

So I see it also says "frequent travel may be required." Does that mean I'm going to outerspace?
Without reading into that too much...hell yeah you're going to outerspace!

Let’s say I get the job. What’s my day-to-day like?
According to an article in Business Insider, you’re probably analyzing planet-bound robots to make sure they don’t contaminate pristine planets, while also coming up with the equipment, protocols and procedures to reduce the risk of those new planets’ microbes contaminating Earth. Time for refreshing Facebook over and over again for updates about your ex and eating microwavable Trader Joe’s bibimbap bowls is also allotted for. Presumably.

If we find E.T., does the Planetary Protection Officer get to keep him?
Hard to say. You’d probably get to chill with him, though.

Do I get to use any of those sweet weapons from Men in Black?
Given our country’s uber-lax gun laws, that actually seems quite likely.

What if, in the course of my duties, I get stuck on Mars by myself and have to use my knowledge of botany to grow potatoes—will I do so in nearly as charming a fashion as Matt Damon did in The Martian?
Wait, that was your question?

What is my security clearance here?
Secret.

Salary?
Roughly $125k-$187k.

Do I have to fill out a financial disclosure form?
Indeed you do. We presume this is designed to weed out any foulmouthed ex-members of the Trump administration.

Remember that movie Paul? I really hope all aliens are voiced by Seth Rogen.
That sounds suspiciously like something only Seth Rogen would say.

Sam Eichner likes literature, reality television and his twin cats equally. He has consistently been told he needs a shave since he started growing facial hair.

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