[Business Inside, Getty Images]
- Petitions to stop Jeff Bezos’ Earth reentry collected more than 70,000 signatures combined.
- The one with the most signatures is titled “Do not allow Jeff Bezos to return to Earth.”
- Bezos plans to enter space July 20 on the first human flight of Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket.
More than 70,000 people have signed petitions calling to stop Jeff Bezos from returning to Earth after he blasts into space next month.
Bezos, the founder of the space-exploration firm Blue Origin, said earlier this month that he and his brother, Mark Bezos, would fly into space aboard the company’s New Shepard rocket on July 20 in its first flight carrying people.
Three days after Bezos’ announcement, two petitions were launched to try to prevent the billionaire’s reentry to Earth. Each had garnered thousands of followers in just 10 days.
More than 50,000 people have signed a Change.org petition titled “Do not allow Jeff Bezos to return to Earth.”
“Billionaire’s should not exist…on earth, or in space, but should they decide the latter they should stay there,” the petition’s description said.
Some signatories gave a reason for signing the petition, which included comments such as “being let back into Earth is a privilege – not a right,” and “Earth don’t want people like Jeff, Bill, Elon and other such billionaires” (presumably referring to Bill Gates and Elon Musk).
Another petition, called “Petition To Not Allow Jeff Bezos Re-Entry To Earth,” has accumulated more than 20,000 signatures.
Jose Ortiz, who set up the petition, said in the description that Bezos was “an evil overlord hellbent on global domination.”
“The fate of humanity is in your hands,” Ortiz also wrote.
Both petitions had been seeking 25,000 to 50,000 signatures, which would make them two of the top-signed petitions on Change.org, according to the website.
Bezos plans to take an 11-minute flight to the edge of space in New Shepard alongside his brother and an unnamed auction winner who paid $28 million for a seat. They’ll be strapped into a dome-shaped capsule, which sits on top of the rocket booster.
Once New Shepard reaches the Kármán line – an imaginary boundary 100 kilometers, or 62 miles, above the Earth’s surface – the capsule is designed to separate from the booster, reenter the atmosphere, and float back down to Earth with the help of parachutes.
“I want to go on this flight because it’s a thing I wanted to do all my life,” Bezos said in a video posted to Instagram on June 7. “It’s an adventure – it’s a big deal for me.”
By Kate Duffy