Dinner Table Conversation: What Does It Take to Protect the Planet from Alien Invasion?

August 5, 2017

Are aliens invading planet Earth? Has Hollywood predicted the ultimate end of the world with the many, many movies about how little green aliens from a distant planet are plotting to destroy Earth?

It might just seem so if you’re reading just the headlines of most newspapers who have reported that NASA is currently looking for someone to fill the role of “Planetary Protection Officer”.

Protect us from what, you might wonder?

Although the job title sounds like NASA might be looking for an extra special person to protect us from those little green aliens, that’s really not the case at all. The role of the Planetary Protection Officer is to help keep alien materials from entering the Earth’s atmosphere, and to keep organisms and organic matter from entering outer space. Why?

In 1967, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Russia signed the International Outer Space Treaty, agreeing that outer space exploration should be, among other things, shared, peaceful, and clean.

It’s a very important job and requires a person who has the qualifications to match. So, what does it take to protect the planet? This person must have a degree in math, science, or engineering, and experience with space programs.

Know of someone who might be qualified?