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LOS ANGELES - A satirical petition to not allow Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos to return to Earth after his planned trip to space has almost reached its goal of 25,000 signatures.
"Petition To Not Allow Jeff Bezos Re-Entry to Earth" was created following the announcement that Bezos would be aboard a ship headed for space aboard a rocket ship belonging to his company, Blue Origin.
More than 16,000 signatures had been collected as of June 18.
It’s the first human-crewed rocket to space for the company and thousands of people are apparently hoping Bezos is planning a one-way trip.
"Jeff Bezos is actually Lex Luthor, disguised as the supposed owner of a super successful online retail store," the petition authors wrote. "However, he's actually an evil overlord hellbent on global domination."
Bezos said in an Instagram post on June 7 that he and his brother Mark will fly on his company’s New Shepard space craft during its scheduled launch on July 20. The winner of an ongoing live auction will also join the crew.
Bezos said in early February that he was stepping down as CEO of Amazon to spend more time focusing on Blue Origin, among other things.
"To see the Earth from space, it changes you, changes your relationship with this planet, with humanity. It’s one Earth," Bezos said in a video shared to his Instagram. "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."
Bezos founded Blue Origin in 2000 "with the vision of enabling a future where millions of people are living and working in space to benefit Earth," the company’s website states.
The New Shepard spacecraft has room for six occupants and is fully autonomous, taking passengers on a ride past the edge of Earth’s atmosphere. It has had 15 successful consecutive missions, including three successful escape tests.
The scheduled July 20th launch will also mark the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. The rocket is named after Alan Shepard, who became the first American in space during a suborbital flight in 1961.
This story was reported from Los Angeles. Kelly Hayes contributed.