More than 41,000 people have signed petitions calling to stop Jeff Bezos from returning to Earth after he blasts into space next month.
Bezos, founder of space-exploration firm Blue Origin, said on 7 June that he and his brother Mark Bezos will fly into space aboard the New Shepard rocket on 20 July — the company's first human flight.
Three days after Bezos' announcement, two petitions were launched to try and prevent the billionaire's re-entry to Earth. They have both garnered thousands of followers in just 10 days, reports the Business Insider.
More than 23,000 people have signed one 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 [Gates], Elon [Musk] and other such billionaires."
Another petition, called "Petition To Not Allow Jeff Bezos Re-Entry To Earth," has accumulated more than 18,000 signatures and is quickly increasing.
Jose Ortiz, who set up the petition, said in the description that Bezos is "an evil overlord hellbent on global domination."
"The fate of humanity is in your hands," Ortiz also wrote.
Both petitions are aiming to get 25,000 signatures, making them two of the top signed petitions on Change.org, according to the website.
Bezos will take an 11-minute flight to the edge of space alongside his brother and the winner of the Blue Origin auction for a seat in the New Shepard spacecraft, which sold for $28 million. 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 62 miles (100 kilometers) above the Earth's surface — the capsule will 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. It's an adventure — it's a big deal for me," Bezos said in a video posted to Instagram on 7 June.