Careers

A 9-year-old applied to be Earth's planetary protection officer, and NASA replied

When the team at NASA posted the job listing for Earth's "planetary protection officer," they likely expected applications from top physicists, mathematicians and engineers — not a 9-year-old.

The planetary protection officer, as the job description details, would be responsible for ensuring humans don't contaminate space, and in turn, that extraterrestrial contaminants and organisms, if they exist, don't contaminate Earth.

But 9-year-old Jack Davis, a self-proclaimed "Guardian of the Galaxy," found the job description, parts of which read like something out of a science fiction novel, fascinating.

He promptly sent in a handwritten cover letter to apply.

According to The Washington Post, in the letter, Davis, a fourth-grader from New Jersey, touts his qualifications, including that his sister says he is an alien and that he's seen "almost all the space and alien movies."

"I may be 9 but I think I would be fit for the job," Davis wrote. "I am young so I can learn to think like an alien."

NASA's Planetary Research Director, Jonathan Rall, called Davis to congratulate him on his interest, and James Green, director of the Planetary Sciences Division at NASA, also responded to the fourth-grader by sending him a letter.

"We are always looking for bright future scientists and engineers to help us," Green wrote, "so I hope you will study hard and do well in school."

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