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A petition urging billionaire Jeff Bezos not to return to Earth after his first space flight has gained tens of thousands of signatures.
“Billionaire’s [sic] should not exist … on earth, or in space, but should they decide the latter they should stay there,” read a petition on Change.org, which was addressed “to the proletariat.”
The petition comes after Bezos announced earlier this month he and his brother Mark would take part in the first human flight of the New Shepard, a spaceship built by the Bezos-owned Blue Origin company.
The petition had over 85,000 signatures as of Tuesday afternoon, surpassing the 65,000-signature threshold to become one of the top petitions on the website.
Bezos, named the second-richest person in the world in May with a fortune valued at $186 billion, is slated to board the approximately 11-minute flight on July 20. The six passengers will be sent 62 miles above Earth.
Critics have long accused Bezos of not being generous enough with his enormous wealth, with political analyst Earl Ofari Hutchinson noting former President Donald Trump has given away more than 3% of his fortune, while Bezos has parted with less than 1%.
The billionaire has also faced criticism over his Amazon warehouses, where he has resisted workers to unionize and faces accusations of stagnant wages.
Bezos will step down from his role as Amazon’s chief executive in early July, leaving the company in the hands of its web services chief, Andy Jassy.
In a memo to employees earlier this year, Bezos said stepping down from the company will allow him “time and energy I need to focus on the Day 1 Fund, the Bezos Earth Fund, Blue Origin, the Washington Post and my other passions.”
Going to space has long been one of those passions the billionaire was alluding to.
“If you see the Earth from space, it changes you,” Bezos said in a recent Instagram post. “It changes your relationship with this planet, with humanity. It’s one Earth. It’s an adventure.”
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Original Author: Michael Lee