NASA recently started hiring for its new planetary protection officer position and the agency got an application from a younger, more unconventional candidate.
On Twitter earlier this week, NASA mentioned that Jack Davis, a nine-year old fourth grader from New Jersey, had applied for the job. According to NASA, Davis’ cited credentials for the job included his sister describing him as an alien, his skill at video games and his self-proclaimed membership as a Guardian of the Galaxy.
— NASA (@NASA) August 4, 2017
Via NASA, here’s Davis’ full letter:
August 3, 2017
My name is Jack Davis and I would like to apply for the planetary protection officer job. I maybe 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
In response, NASA reached out to Davis late last week. Along with a phone call to Davis, the agency sent out a separate letter to the fourth-grader. While Davis is admittedly too young for the role, NASA and Planetary Science Division director James L. Green supported his interest in science in the letter and encouraged him to do well in school in the future.
“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,” Green wrote. “We hope to see you here at NASA one of these days!”
The planetary protection officer won’t be flying from planet to planet getting into sci-fi adventures, but the role, which NASA officially posted last week, will still be doing work that’s important for Earth’s safety.
The role will focus on developing ways during planetary travel to prevent alien contamination from reaching Earth, along with avoiding Earth contamination from reaching other alien planets. NASA has also hired past officials to fill the role.
NASA has also worked on other ways to prevent intergalactic dangers from reaching Earth. Earlier this year, NASA started further development on its Double Asteroid Redirection Test. The project will figure out ways to deflect asteroids in space before they reach Earth in the future.
The agency is slated to test the project on the Didymos asteroid body, which is slated to reach the area around Earth in 2022 and 2024. As part of the test, NASA will have ships collide with the asteroids to shift their flight path and make them avoid Earth.