When places like NASA have job openings, you know there are going to be overly-qualified candidates applying from all walks of life. And that is just what happened last week when NASA posted a job description for its “planetary protection officer”. But besides those applicants with advanced degrees and ample experience, another rather young candidate stood out for his self-confidence and passion. His name is Jack Davis, he is nine-years-old, and he too sent in a sincere letter explaining why this job is perfectly suited for him.
An Alien Candidate
In his handwritten letter, Jack, the self-proclaimed “Guardian of the Galaxy” lists several convincing reasons why he is perfectly equipped for the job, including the fact that his sister thinks he is an alien (perfect for undercover missions) and that he is an avid space movie fan. And while Jack realizes his youth might be reason for concern, he assures NASA that this allows him the time to learn how to think like an alien.
the full text of the letter, which was posted by NASA in a press release on Friday 4 August, 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 movies 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 vidieo [sic] games. I am young, so I can learn to think like an alien.
Guardian of the Galaxy
NASA’s Take Every Applicant Seriously
While NASA could have easily filed it away with a laugh, planetary science director Jim Green decided to write and sign a thoughtful letter back to Davis in a letter that congratulated him in his interest in the position, encouraged him to work hard at school, and added that he hoped to see him around NASA in the future. Greene also took the time to dispel all myths about what the job actually entails- which is preventing astronauts from bringing with them biological contaminants from space back to Earth and from Earth to space.
The letter reads
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. 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!
Dr. James L. Green
Director, Planetary Science Division”
And to top it off Jonathan Rall, NASA’s planetary research director also called Davis “to congratulate him on his interest in the position”.
With this adorable exchange, it’s clear that NASA is doing a great job inspiring kids, as Green claims: “At NASA, we love to teach kids about space and inspire them to be the next generation of explorers,” Hopefully, with a few years of patience, Jack will be among those explorers too.