I think most people would agree that NASA is one of those organisations that everyone would enjoy working for, even if you were only some poor stooge mopping the floor. I mean – come on, it’s NASA! These are the guys who are at the cutting edge of technology! The people who some of the most intelligent geniuses work for! These are the brave men and woman who are literally staring down The Final Frontier, and dreaming up ways to take us even further. The individuals who will probably be the first to ever make contact with extraterrestrial life!
However, the fact that NASA demands that only the best and brightest human beings have the privilege of working for them means that most of us will never get a chance to make it on the payroll. I mean, seriously? Who has the gumption to apply to work at NASA? You’d have to be pretty damn smart and pretty damn qualified.
You can understand then why so many people got excited when I was announced that NASA had a job offer; and this one wasn’t just for a janitor or an accountant. You’d get a generous six-figure salary, as well as the bragging rights to have the coolest job title in the cosmos: planetary protection officer. That’s right; you’d be the real-life equivalent of Doctor Who, defending Earth from all manner of potentially hostile alien life.
The job was like one of the golden tickets to Wily Wonka’s chocolate factory. No sooner had the job gone out than the whole planet seemed determined to land that coveted interview. But this week NASA got a heartfelt letter from someone who’s probably their youngest ever applicant, and true to form they responded in style.
The handwritten letter is apparently from a nine-year-old boy named Jack Davis and it’s adorably precocious.
It reads, “Dear NASA: My name is Jack Davis and I would like to apply for the planetary protection officer job. I may be nine but 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. Sincerely: Jack Davis, Guardian of the Galaxy, Fourth Grade.”
I imagine that young Jack wasn’t really expecting to hear back from NASA, but then Dr. James L. Green, Director of the Planetary Science Division, sent the following reply. “Dear Jack,” it read, “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.”
Green added, “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! Sincerely, Dr. James L. Green.”
Who knows? If Jack puts in the hours and studies hard, he could well end up with the job eventually. He might not have to wait very long to meet a Martian however, as NASA have recently provided evidence of the existence of alien life.