The petition on
change.org does not hesitate: “Do not allow Jeff Bezos to return to Earth”, demands a certain Ric G (“Do not let Jeff Bezos return to Earth.”) After a slow start, over 90,000 people have now signed – yesterday it was 50,000 .
Viral social envy in its purest form. At the beginning of June, Jeff Bezos announced that he would fly his own rocket into space on July 20th. It will be the first ever manned flight by its space company Blue Origin. One of the richest people in the world on his way into space – that has been a long-running favorite in various social networks ever since.
35,000 euros per second
The flight should take just eleven minutes. His brother and “best friend” Mark flies with Bezos, which sounds a bit sad. A third Blue Origin ticket into space was recently auctioned for $ 28 million; the money goes to a charitable foundation. The bidder is so far unknown (Banksy?). Overall, the capsule offers space for six people. A fourth passenger has already been reserved.
The whole thing can hardly really be described as a flight into space: With a maximum distance from the earth of a little more than 100 kilometers, the “RSS First Step Crew Capsule” barely crosses the border into space. The ISS orbits about 300 kilometers higher.
Petition with no specific goal
The petition does not call for any direct action to prevent Jeff Bezos from returning from space. It is aimed diffusely at “the proletariat” and bears the description “Billionaire’s (sic) should not exist … on earth, or in space, but should they decide the latter they should stay there.” (“Billionaires shouldn’t exist … neither on earth nor in space, but should they choose the latter, they should stay there.”). Ric G is not a master of spelling. But it is far from the only one bizarre Bezos petition on change.org.
Bezos is stepping down as CEO of Amazons two weeks before his departure. Andy Jassy will be his successor. If Bezos – despite the petition – returns from the vast expanses, he will stay with the company as executive chairman of the board of directors.
For billionaires in space there is indeed a precedent, if only a fictional one: in the Carl Sagan film adaptation Contact directed by Robert Zemeckis (1997), John Hurt orbits the earth in a space station as SR Hadden, a large industrial millionaire suffering from cancer.
Hadden does not survive.