KNOXVILLE (WATE) – A New Jersey fourth grader and self-proclaimed “Guardian of the Galaxy” applied for a highly publicized position as NASA’s planetary protection officer, and got a response from the space agency.
NASA says the job opening has generated a lot of excitement in the public, as well as comparisons to many sci-fi heroes. The space agency has had the position since the 1960s.
Fourth grader from New Jersey reached out to NASA in a letter to express his interest in serving the agency’s Planetary Protection Officer
My name is Jack Davis and I would like to apply for the planetary protection officer job. I may be nine but I think I would be fit for the job. One of the reasons is my sister says I am an alien also, I have seen almost all the space and alien movies I can see. I have also seen the show Marvel Agents of Shield and hope to see the movie Men in Black. I am great at video games. I am young, so I can learn to think like an alien.
Guardian of the Galaxy
The nine-year-old received a letter from NASA’s Planetary Science Director Jim Green. He also received a phone call from NASA’s Planetary Research Director, Jonathan Rall at NASA Headquarters in Washington, to congratulate him on his interest in the position.
I hear you are a “Guardian of the Galaxy” and that you’re interested in being a NASA Planetary Protection Officer. That’s great!
Our Planetary Protection Officer position is really cool and is very important work. It’s about protecting earth from tiny microbes when we bring back samples from the Moon asteroids and Mars. It’s also about protecting other planets and moons from our germs as we responsibly explore the Solar System.
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!
Dr. James L. Green
Director, Planetery Science Division
NASA says although the Planetary Protection Officer position may not be in real-life what the title conjures up, it does play an important role in promoting the responsible exploration of our solar system by preventing microbial contamination of other planets and our own. Learn more about NASA’s Office of Planetary Protection position by visiting NASA’s website.