NASA’s planetary protection officer job is out of this world

Posted at 11:35 AM, Aug 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-03 11:35:05-04

(CNN) — NASA wants you to be its real-life guardian of the planet.

The space agency is looking for a planetary protection officer,someone to guard the planet from “organic-constituent and biological contamination in human and robotic space exploration.”

In other words, the officer’s responsibilities include ensuring humans don’t contaminate space, and other organisms don’t contaminate Earth either.

Doing so will maintain worlds in their natural states and avoid contaminating explored environments, NASA says.

The chosen one will be “responsible for the leadership of NASA’s planetary protection capability, maintenance of planetary protection policies, and oversight of their implementation by NASA’s space flight missions,” according to the job listing.

But it’s unclear whether the new hire will be replacing Catharine Conley, who’s listed as NASA’s current planetary protection officer.

Protecting the planet is no easy task. Interested candidates should have advanced knowledge of planetary protection, the agency says.

Part of the job perks include frequent travel — no word yet on whether it’ll be to space.

And the pay is not too shabby, either. It starts at about $127,000 a year.