9-year-old wants to be NASA's 'planetary protection officer'

TRENTON, N.J. — A 9-year-old New Jersey boy who described himself as a "Guardian of the Galaxy" is hoping to add the real-life NASA title "Planetary Protection Officer" to his resume.

NASA received an application for the position from fourth-grader Jack Davis, who asked to apply for the job. In a letter the agency posted online , Jack acknowledged his youth, but said that will make it easier for him to learn how to think like an alien. He said he has seen all the space and alien movies he can see, and he is great at video games.

"My sister says I am an alien also," Jack wrote in the hand-written letter dated Aug. 3.

Jack received a letter from NASA Planetary Science Director James Green encouraging him to study hard so he can one day join them at the agency.

"We are always looking for bright future scientists and engineers to help us," Green wrote his response, which was also posted online. Green told Jack the job is about protecting other planets and moons "from our germs" as the agency explores the Solar System.

Jack also received a phone call from NASA Planetary Research Director Jonathan Rall thanking him for his interest.

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

NASA says the job might not quite live up to its thrilling title, but is important in preventing microbial contamination of Earth and other planets. The agency said it has had the position since the 1960s.

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