Earlier this week, NASA announced that it's about to open up a whole new round of astronaut applications. Hopeful applicants in this crop might someday orbit the Moon, or take the first steps on Mars — if they're made of the right stuff, that is. But what about those of us who have no flight experience, no wealth of STEM degrees, or eyesight that isn't tack-sharp? Well, NASA might still have a place for us: the gridiron.
Yes, NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas has a flag football league — of course it does, it's Texas — and that league (apparently) needs referees! At least that seems to be the case after a Deadspin commenter spotted this listing on Indeed.com. The job comes with rather typical referee requirements: two night per week availability, ability to manage the speed of the game, and a good judge of field conditions in bad weather.
One small step for man, one giant leap for your résumé
Applicants also have to be willing to enforce "NASA's flag football rules, policies, and procedures." Now, just how much NASA's rules differ from normal flag football rules is anyone's guess; you just better hope that rule disputes don't need to pass the House and the Senate.
Sure, you may not get a trip to Mars out of the gig, but at least with this job the dangers are clear and present. (If you see a group of NASA engineers huffing and puffing their way toward you, just step out of the way. Unfortunately, it's not as easy to dodge radiation on Mars.) You also get $12 per hour — or $15 if you referee a game solo — which isn't too shabby for a part-time gig. And you presumably get NASA's sweet "meatball" logo on your checks.