No, NASA isn’t hiring someone to protect us from evil aliens. It’s doing something better.


Why must everything always be about aliens on the internet?  

The most recent example comes at the hands of a bunch of well-meaning journalists really blowing something out of proportion. Basically, NASA posted a job listing looking for a full-time “planetary protection officer” to join the agency—and breathless alien hilarity ensued.  

SEE ALSO: Congressman completely wastes NASA’s time by asking about aliens

Some progressively more hysterical coverage of the ad suggested that this poor official is expected to keep us safe from alien invasion.

At a really fundamental level, that’s kind of true. The Office of Planetary Protection is expected to help protect Earth from possible contamination by alien microbes that might hitch a ride back to our planet through sample return, but just stopping there misses the point.  Read more…

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