A six-figure salary awaits those who will be chosen as NASA’s Planetary Protection Officers. The profession that comes with a huge paycheck has a straightforward job description - to defend our planet Earth from Alien invaders.

Job openings for planet protection officers

NASA announced the opening of new spots for a job called Planetary Protection Officer. The full-time job offers a whopping six figure salary of $187,000, excluding benefits. According to Livemint, the job description has two key points. The first is about overseeing all human activities in space and making sure that our species does not contaminate neighboring planets and moons.

The second is to prevent any foreign space matter from coming on to Earth.

According to an article from Business Insider, NASA has only opened two spots for the full-time job. One Planetary Protection Officer will be positioned at NASA while the other will be deployed at the European Space Agency. Since 2014, NASA only had one Planetary Protection Officer, Catharine Conley.

For interested applicants, Planetary Protection Officers are primarily tasked to make sure that human and machine explorations in space are free from any form of organic and biological contaminations. The Register reports that those who seek adventure will find the job interesting since it will involve extensive traveling. However, only citizens of the United States are eligible to apply.

Policies on planetary protection

The idea of protecting Earth from outer space contamination and vice versa is not new to NASA.

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In fact, the agency has an established set of policies and rules on planetary protection. Such regulations govern all space flights whether manned or unmanned. The same set of laws applies to missions that are intended to deliberately transport organic matters and organisms from Earth to any point in outer space. A certain portion of NASA’s policies on space contamination deal with missions that involve transporting extraterrestrial samples to the Earth’s biosphere.

The job as a Planetary Protection Officer has an initial term of three years, which may extend to five years. The position was established in 1967, following the US conferment of the Outer Space Treaty. The treaty’s objective involved the pursuit of outer space study and exploration. The treaty emphasizes that at all times, caution must be exercised so as to prevent any contamination and adverse alteration of the Earth’s environment due to any human extraterrestrial activity. NASA’s new hires will be likely passengers of the upcoming exploration of Jupiter’s moon named Europa.