What was your childhood dream? Do you remember what you told to your school teacher when she asked you “What is your ambition?”. Most of the students would have said: “I want to become an Engineer/Doctor/Pilot”.
Case in point, several years ago, a NASA job application for a planetary protection officer had inspired a 9-year-old to become the next real-life guardian of Earth.
The six-figure position of a planetary protection officer safeguards the Earth from extraterrestrial microbes contained in samples which are brought back from human and robotic space missions to the moon, asteroids or Mars.
Among the countless other applications, NASA space agency received a unique one probably for the first time ever, written by the 9-year-old boy by the name of Jack Davis.
Jack wrote: “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.”
The letter spread like wildfire after a family friend had posted it on Reddit and it finally reached the space agency.
Dr. James L Green, who is director of NASA’s Planetary Science Division, wrote a perfect response on Twitter: “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.”
In fact, Jack also got a phone call from Planetary Research Director Jonathan Rall. NASA have encouraged Jack and others to study hard to become the real Guardians of the Galaxy someday in future.
Green wrote: “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!”
Moreover, the Liberty Science Center in New Jersey had invited Jack to be the official kid science advisor at the Jennifer Chalsty Planetarium.
All this for an adorable letter with strong ambition.