NASA Searches out a Planetary Protector for Earth

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Wayo | Shutterstock.com

The world has yet to find its Universal Defender–you know, like Buzz Lightyear?

Though it might sound like fake news, NASA has begun a search to find someone to serve as a planetary protector for Earth–against aliens. Yes–you just read that correctly.

So what qualifies someone for the job?

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Serve and Protect Earth in Space!

planetary protector
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Many pop culture stories in film, literature, and graphic novels revolve around the potential relationship between Earth and extraterrestrial life.

In some stories, like Independence Day, humanity is caught completely off-guard and defenseless from the alien onslaught. In others, like the Mass Effect series, things are a little better (if only a little). Even the Marvel and DC universes have galactic defenders in the form of the Green Lantern Corps and the Sorcerer Supreme. So what does Earth have exactly? Right now…not much.

Research into the existence or even likelihood of intelligent life outside of Earth is middling. Some claim that many civilizations existed in the universe while others claim that the life we find won’t be that intelligent. Despite inconclusive results, NASA decided to begin the search for Earth’s planetary protector.

Decision Making Skills . . . Also In Space

image of Jake Gylenhaal in Life from Sony Pictures
Life | Sony Pictures

Dubbed the “Planetary Protection Officer,” the role requires the person to ensure safety protocols that protect Earth’s population. Avoiding something like the events in the movie Life is probably among the role’s responsibilities. Due to daunting tasks, the job comes with a six figure salary peaking around $187,000 USD annually. It also requires “frequent travel” and secret security clearances.

As the job listing says, the applicant must have “Advanced knowledge of Planetary Protection, its requirements and mission categories. This includes demonstrated technical expertise to independently form technically sound judgments and evaluations in considerably complex situations.” So, if I’ve done “Excellent” on every mission in XCOM 2, that means I’m qualified . . . right?

Don’t forget about the engineering degree and experience requirement. This might be a meta-concept position, but you still have to have pertinent mathematics in your wheelhouse.

Richard Rhodes | Robert Markowitz

Eat Your Heart Out Buzz Lightyear

NASA has also begun research into the Z-1 spacesuit series.

Due to the similarity to a certain Toy Story character, many people are speculating.

While it is unclear what the exact inspiration was, the suit hasn’t been modified greatly since 1992, so it was probably time for an upgrade. It will get a new “rear-entry” system that seeks to streamline the process of putting on and removing the space suit. The intended effect is to minimize time spent in airlocks and reduce the possibility of injury or incident therein.

What qualities would you want in NASA’s new galactic Earth Protection Officer?

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