More than 56,000 individuals have signed petitions opposing Jeff Bezos' return to Earth after his space launch next month.
Bezos, the founder of the space exploration company Blue Origin, announced earlier this month that he and his brother, Mark Bezos, On July 20 they will be the first people to fly into space aboard the company's New Shepard rocket.
Three days after Bezos' statement, two petitions were launched to prevent the billionaire from returning to the planet. Each got thousands of followers in less than ten days.
A Change.org petition titled "Do not allow Jeff Bezos to return to Earth" has received over 37,000 signatures.
The petition stated that "billionaires should not exist...on Earth or in space," and that "if they chose the latter, they should stay there."
Some signatories stated that "being allowed back into Earth is a luxury - not a right," and that "Earth does not want people like Jeff, Bill, Elon, and other people who are billionaires" (presumably referring to Bill Gates & Elon Musk).
Another petition, titled "Do Not Allow Jeff Bezos Re-Entry Into Earth," has over 20,000 signatures and is gaining traction. The petition's creator, Jose Ortiz, described Bezos as "an wicked overlord hellbent on global dominance" in the description.
Ortiz also stated, "The fate of humanity is in your hands."
Both petitions are aiming for a total of 25,000 to 50,000 signatures, making them two of Change.org's most popularly signed petitions., according to the website.
Bezos and his brother, as well as an unknown auction winner who spent $28 million for a seat, plan to take an 11-minute ride to the edge of space in New Shepard. They'll be strapped into a dome-shaped capsule that will sit atop the booster rocket.
New Shepard is meant to separate from the rocket, reenter the atmosphere, and drift back down to Earth with the help of parachutes once it hits the Kármán line - an imaginary boundary 100 kilometres (62 miles) above the Earth's surface.
"I want to go on this flight because it's something I've always wanted to do," Bezos said in an Instagram video posted on June 7." For me, it's a big thing; it's an experience."
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