Petition to Stop Jeff Bezos Re-Entering Earth After Space Flight Signed by Thousands

A petition set up to stop Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos from being allowed to re-enter Earth after his upcoming space flight has been signed by close to 7,000 people.

Blue Origin, the rocket company owned by Bezos, announced on June 7 that the Amazon CEO and his brother, Mark, would be two of three people launching to 62 miles above the Earth's surface, aboard the company's first human flight on July 20.

The trip, which will be on the company's New Shepard spacecraft, will occur 15 days after Bezos steps down as Amazon's CEO—a role he has served in for 27 years.

Several social media users responded jokingly to the news. While on Thursday, June 10, a petition was set up on Change.Org by user Jose Ortiz, who titled it: "Petition To Not Allow Jeff Bezos Re-Entry To Earth."

"Jeff Bezos is actually Lex Luthor, disguised as the supposed owner of a super successful online retail store," Ortiz jokingly wrote in the petition, in reference to the DC Comics character that Bezos is often likened to. "However, he's actually an evil overlord hellbent on global domination."

Ortiz concluded the petition: "Sign the petition. Share with your friends and family. The fate of humanity is in your hands."

At the time of writing, the petition has been signed by 6,832 people, of the initial target of 7,500, with several users explaining why they supported the petition. One person wrote: "Do not come back take Elon with you," in reference to Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and rocket company SpaceX.

Bezos and his brother will be joined by a mystery individual on the flight on July 20, after someone paid $28 million at an auction that attracted interest from more than 140 countries.

Prior to the auction on Saturday, June 12, the top bid stood at $5 million, but that figure quickly increased by nearly five times that amount, before it concluded later in the day.

Blue Origin tweeted that the identity of the winner will be revealed in the next few weeks and confirmed that the $28 million will be donated to Club for the Future, a charity run by the organization that hopes "to inspire future generations to pursue careers in STEM," according to its website.

The auction for the very first seat on #NewShepard has concluded with a winning bid of $28 million. The winning bid amount will be donated to Blue Origin’s foundation, @ClubforFuture. Full replay of the auction webcast:

— Blue Origin (@blueorigin) June 12, 2021

Bezos, his brother and the mystery bidder will have to endure up to 5.5 gs of force during the rocket-powered ascent, according to Blue Origin's terms and conditions. The rocket will reach 328,000 feet before coming back to Earth on July 20th, but the 11 minute flight will not include a pilot as it is autonomous.

New Shepard, which is named after the first American to travel to space, Alan Shepard, is Blue Origin's reusable launch vehicle.

The company's rocket has been designed to eventually take astronauts and research payloads past the internationally recognized boundary of space, known as the Kármán line.

Newsweek has contacted Blue Origin and Amazon for comment on the petition.

Petition set up to stop Bezos
Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos speaks after receiving the 2019 International Astronautical Federation (IAF) Excellence in Industry Award during the the 70th International Astronautical Congress at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. on October 22, 2019. A petition that has been set up to stop Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos re-entering Earth after his upcoming space flight has been signed by thousands. MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images