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By B.L. Ochman @whatsnext

NASA is looking for a Planetary Protection Officer to protect the planet from potential alien contamination. The U.S. government’s official employment site posted the job ad. U.S. citizens and nationals have until August 14 to apply. One of the applicants is a 9 year-old self-appointed Guardian of the Galaxy.

The job comes pays between $124,406 to $187,000 per year—and security clearance is listed as “secret.” The role involves stopping astronauts and robots from getting contaminated with any organic and biological material during space travel. “Candidates must have “broad engineering expertise,” and should be an expert in planetary protection,” according to the ad.

9 year-old Guardian of the Galaxy applies

Nine year-old Jack Davis, self-appointed Guardian of the Galaxy, applied for the job. NASA sent him a seriously, and sent a wonderful response.

“At NASA, we love to teach kids about space and inspire them to be the next generation of explorers,” NASA’s Planetary Science Director Jim Green said. “Think of it as a gravity assist — a boost that may positively and forever change a person’s course in life, and our footprint in the universe.”

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.

What an extraordinary way to encourage a young man’s dreams!