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Posted: August 07, 2017

NASA responds to 9-year-old’s application for planetary protection job


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NASA responds to 9-year-old’s application for planetary protection job
Jack Davis's application. (Photo: NASA)

By Jared Leone, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

A New Jersey fourth grader and self-proclaimed “Guardian of the Galaxy” applied for a highly publicized position as NASA’s planetary protection officer, and got a response from the space agency.

The position, one NASA has had since the 1960s, generated a lot of public interest, as it conjured up comparisons to science fiction heroes.

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“I may be 9 but I think I would be fit for the job,” Jack Davis wrote. “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.”

Davis indicated that he has also seen the show “Marvel Agents of S.HI.E.L.D.” but still has to see “Men In Black.” He also mentions he is a skilled video game player.

His handwritten letter, dated Thursday, elicited a response from NASA, which assured Davis the job is not as cinematic as it sounds. The right candidate would actually be blocking organic and biological contamination from reaching Earth.

“Our planetary protection officer position is really cool and is very important work,” wrote James Green, NASA’s planetary science director. “It’s about protecting Earth from tiny microbes when we bring back samples from the moon, asteroids and Mars. It’s also about protecting other planets and moons from our germs as we responsibly explore the solar system.”

Davis also got a call from NASA’s planetary research director, thanking him for his interest in the position.

"At NASA, we love to teach kids about space and inspire them to be the next generation of explorers," Green said in a statement. "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."

Davis, who signed the letter “Guardian of the Galaxy,” listed one other qualification he has.

“I am young, so I can learn to think like an alien.”


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