NASA recruits a planetary protection officer
– News of August 8, 2017 –
The planetary protection officer ensures that samples brought from other bodies of the solar system do not bring back pathogens with them. You will surely spend a lot of time over a microscope. Returning samples initiatives are proliferating, whether by governments or private organizations. We think for example of Moon Express who wants to bring back moon rock in large quantities. Obviously this entails risks because even if we never found life in the solar system, nothing indicates that a microscopic life did not nest on one or more planets.
For this job, you must be an American citizen, have a degree in physical sciences, engineering or mathematics. But there are many advantages to becoming a planetary protection officer : a six-figure salary, regular travels and above all Secret Defense accreditation at the highest level. This allows you to search the NASA archives for the best kept secrets.
This job offer shows that with the expansion of the space sector, new issues will arise. It is impossible to know what we are confronting when we set foot on a new world. It is good to know that NASA takes the bacteriological threat seriously, even if it is not proven for the moment. It would be a pity if space exploration goes from dream to nightmare for a simple lack of the precautionary principle. You have until August 14 to apply to become a Planetary Protection Officer.
Image by CNES