The petition isn’t big on details, simply titled “Do not allow Jeff Bezos to return to Earth,” but it’s getting some attention.
“Billionaires should not exist … on Earth, or in space, but should they decide the latter they should stay there,” reads the description on the change.org offering.
It was started two weeks ago, but took off last weekend, surpassing 87,000 signatures by midday Tuesday. By June 26, the petition had more than 125,500 signatures.
Amazon founder Bezos is set to fly on a Blue Origin New Shepard rocket for a short flight into space on July 20 from the company’s West Texas launch facility. The scheduled launch will be about two weeks after the billionaire plans to step down as chief executive officer of Amazon.
Along for the ride will be Bezos’ brother Mark and an unnamed passenger who bid $28 million for the right to fly on the space-tourism venture’s first human flight.
New Shepard can seat up to six, and takes them on an 11-minute flight that targets the 100-kilometer threshold that is the internationally recognized altitude for a person having made it into space. The rides will allow passengers to unbuckle and experience weightlessness for a few minutes before strapping back into their reclining seats for the trip back to Earth.
So far, the company has made 15 successful tests without passengers.
The auction may have given the company a better idea of how much they can charge for when they open up seats for regular missions. With such a high winning bid, the price point may be much greater than what competitor Virgin Galactic charged for its first slate of customers: $250,000.
Blue Origin’s website says details on seat sales will be revealed soon.
The venture is meant to raise funds for the company’s larger space plans including the development of heavy lift rocket New Glenn, which is under construction at the company’s facility near Kennedy Space Center.
Blue Origin had also been competing with partners Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin and Dynetics to be one of NASA’s choices for the Human Landing System for the Artemis missions to the moon, but lost out to SpaceX and its Starship design. Both the Blue Origin group and Dynetics have filed a protest on the NASA decision.
The company’s vision remains, “millions of people living and working in space.”
The Seattle Times business staff contributed to this report.