A campaign has been started on the Change.org petition website to prevent Amazon founder Jeff Bezos from returning to Earth after his upcoming jaunt into space on 20 July.
Bezos is scheduled to be launched 100km up for a brief, suborbital trip on the first manned flight by his New Shepard rocket, operated by the Blue Origin space tourism company he founded back in 2000.
He will be accompanied on the flight by his brother, Mark, and a mystery auction winner who reportedly paid $28m for the privilege.
Petition organiser Jose Ortiz did not elaborate on whether his two fellow passengers should be allowed to return to their planet of origin, but the logistical problems of bringing them back while leaving the older Bezos in space would make this difficult.
The New Shepard launch vehicle is entirely controlled by onboard computers, with no input from a ground station or its occupants, which would make it almost impossible to change the mission profile in-flight and dock with a rescue vehicle to extract Bezos Jnr and the super-rich mysterynaut.
While condemning a successful multibillionaire businessman (and possibly two other slightly less wealthy people) to either a lonely, lingering death on the edge of Earth's atmosphere or a quick, fiery, and terrifying death on re-entry might be seen as somewhat harsh, Ortiz put forward his reasoning on the petition sign-up page:
Jeff Bezos is actually Lex Luthor, disguised as the supposed owner of a super successful online retail store. However, he's actually an evil overlord hellbent on global domination. We've known this for years.
Ortiz also claims that the Amazon founder is "in bed with the flat Earth deniers," a position he will presumably find very difficult to maintain once he leaves Earth and proves once again what shape it is.
The New Shepard capsule contains six seats, and Bezos Snr hopes the comically phallic rocket will become a regular space tourism and suborbital delivery vehicle.
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- Artemis I core stage finally pointing in the right direction at Kennedy Space Center
- NASA to return to the Moon by 2024. One problem with that, says watchdog: All of it
- FTC approves $61.7m settlement with Amazon for pocketing driver tips
However, the three empty seats on the first manned Blue Origin mission have led to suggestions on the petition website as to who else could accompany him on his one-way trip. One idea is that he should take Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk along.
This would still leave one unclaimed seat, but even if the capsule were allowed to return safely, The Reg doubts there is another human being on Earth who would want it. Maybe John McAfee or Larry Ellison.
The petition has been running for a week and currently has 9,645 signatures out of a target of 10,000.
The Register has contacted Jeff Bezos, but at the time of writing he was too rich to comment. ®