Last month, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), made headlines after announcing a job vacancy for a Planetary Protection Officer. The internet went crazy as it appeared the nation’s top extraterrestrial agency was looking for someone to take the helm of the mysterious (and fictitious) Men in Black.
Unfortunately, the job doesn’t involve donning a trillion dollar SPARTAN suit of armor or interaction with an advanced artificial intelligence who’ll help you through your journey of destroying malignant aliens on a crusade to destroy humanity (sorry Halo fans).
In reality, the job is much more benign and involves more administrative work, figuring out the best way to prevent potentially dangerous alien microbes from piggybacking their way to Earth on our equipment that we send to space and other planets, like Mars, which will eventually return home.
These nuanced details didn’t stop people from imagining themselves as a triumphant hero, epically battling their way through the cosmos, and applying for the job. People like nine-year-old Jack Davis, who is a self proclaimed “Guardian of the Galaxy.”
Davis sent this letter to NASA in hopes of landing this lucrative job, which offers a sweet salary range of $124,406 – $187,000.
The letter reads:
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
I think Jack makes an excellent argument for why he should be selected as NASA’s new planetary protector. I mean, if Ender’s Game taught me anything, it’s that kids are the answer to solving all of Earth’s planetary protection problems.
Unfortunately, he doesn’t quite meet all the educational or experience requirements for the job, but that didn’t stop NASA from responding with an awesome and encouraging letter for Jack.
I think NASA really deserves a tip of the cap on this one. They’re probably received countless applications for the job from people who are overwhelmingly under qualified (I swear I’m a fast learner!) and yet they took the time to respond to this young man with a letter which will undoubtedly inspire him throughout his life.
I was once that child who dreamed of being an astronaut and traveling through the final frontier to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations. to go boldly where no man has gone before (sorry, the grammar fiend in me couldn’t misplace the modifier). Nine year old Tim would’ve LOVED to have received this letter and I’m certain Jack will too.