When NASA recently announced it’s looking for a planetary protection officer, Jack Davis figured he was just the guy for the job. After all, he already calls himself the “Guardian of the Galaxy.”
Jack, a 9-year-old from New Jersey, summarized his qualifications in an Aug. 3 letter to NASA.
“I may be nine but I think I would be fit for the job,” he wrote. “One of the reasons is my sister says I’m an alien also.”
He explained he’s already seen all the space and alien movies he could. The 1997 blockbuster “Man in Black” has so far eluded him, but he hopes to rectify that omission.
Planetary protection shouldn’t pose a problem for him. “I am great at video games,” he wrote.
Moreover, he may be able to feel out the enemy plans. “I am young so I can learn to think like an alien,” he wrote, signing the letter as Jack Davis, Guardian of the Galaxy, Fourth Grade.
NASA responded with a letter of its own.
“We are always looking for bright future scientists and engineers to help us, so I hope you will study hard and do well in school. We hope to see you here at NASA one of these days!” wrote James Green, director of Planetary Science Division at NASA.
Jack also received a phone call from Jonathan Rall, NASA’s Planetary Research director, “to congratulate him on his interest in the position,” a NASA release stated.
Unfortunately, the position of Planetary Protection Officer doesn’t entail anything as flashy as the name may suggest. The officer is responsible for preventing biological contamination—preventing other planets’ and asteroids’ microbes from contaminating Earth and earth microbes from contaminating other planets and space bodies.
NASA has had the position since the 1960s.
The position nets a salary of $124,406 to $187,000 and is open to applicants until Aug. 14.