Bezos is flying to space via the New Shepard rocket, built by Bezos’ space venture Blue Origin.
Jeff Bezos has quite a month ahead of him. In early July, the controversial billionaire finally stepped down from his role at CEO at Amazon, though he will continue to serve as executive chair (and biggest stakeholder, with his stake being worth $180 billion). Next, Bezos will turn his attention to his most out-of-this-world endeavor yet: a departure from planet Earth itself.
On July 20, Bezos is flying to space via the New Shepard rocket, built by his space venture Blue Origin.
“Ever since I was five years old, I’ve dreamed of traveling to space. On July 20th, I will take that journey with my brother. The greatest adventure, with my best friend. #GradatimFerociter,” Bezos posted to Instagram.
“To see the Earth from space, it changes you. It changes your relationship with this planet, with humanity, it’s one Earth,” Bezos continued in the video. “I want to go on this flight because it’s a thing I’ve wanted to do all my life. It’s an adventure. It’s a big deal for me. I’ve invited my brother to come on this first flight because we’re closest friends.”
While this is very exciting for the Bezos brothers and their guests, quite a few Earthlings — at least 150,000 of them — aren’t particularly pleased with the billionaire, and would rather he didn’t return from space at all.
In June, someone identified as “Ric G” from Ferndale, Michigan created a page on Change.org titled, “Do not allow Jeff Bezos to return to Earth,” the description of which reads, “Billionaires should not exist...on earth, or in space, but should they decide the latter, they should stay there.”
“The recent billionaire space odyssey competition is a slap in the face to working class folks struggling paycheck to paycheck just to survive. Whether they are struggling with food insecurity, healthcare, shelter, or access to clean water, these issues have a price tag that isn’t quite as unfathomable as the idle billionaires, corporate lobbyists, and Washington bureaucrats would have you believe,” they wrote as part of their passionate plea.
“Billionaires and corporations should pay their fair share. Until then, Jeff Bezos can stay in space until he finds which intergalactic asteroid core contains his compassion and humanity,” they concluded.
In an update shared on June 27, Ric G added, “Bezos team of scientists say they’ve found a way to harness the pain and hunger to exponentially increase thrust capability and propel the ship faster into space.”
At the time of writing this, the petition has passed its goal, having reached 150,638 signatures. Per Change.org, once it hits 200,000, it will become one of the top signed on the site.