Former Amazon CEO Goes To Edge Of Space, Nearly 165K People Sign Petition For Him To Stay There

Almost 165,000 people have signed a petition to leave former Amazon CEO and now Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man, in space as of Tuesday morning.

On Tuesday, Bezos took the New Shepard, a rocket ship built by his space firm Blue Origin, on an eleven-minute trip more than 60 miles above Earth.

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“Riding alongside the multibillionaire were Bezos’ brother, Mark Bezos; Wally Funk, an 82-year-old pilot and one of the ‘Mercury 13’ women who trained to go to space in the 20th century but never got to fly; and an 18-year old recent high school graduate named Oliver Daemen who was Blue Origin’s first paying customer and whose father, an investor, purchased his ticket,” CNN reported.

The petition read, “Do not allow Jeff Bezos to return to Earth .Billionaires should not exist…on earth, or in space, but should they decide the latter, they should stay there.”

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Blue Origin may fly two additional New Shepard passenger flights this year if reservations on the New Shepard are acquired in an auction. The sale attracted 7,600 individuals from 159 nations.

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In a press statement, Blue Origin stated:

“Blue Origin was founded by Jeff Bezos with the vision of enabling a future where millions of people are living and working in space to benefit Earth. To preserve Earth, Blue Origin believes that humanity will need to expand, explore, find new energy and material resources, and move industries that stress Earth into space. Blue Origin is working on this today by developing partially and fully reusable launch vehicles that are safe, low cost, and serve the needs of all civil, commercial, and defense customers.”

Jeff Bezos created Blue Origin with the goal of creating a future in which millions of people live and work in space to benefit Earth. Blue Origin thinks that in order to save Earth, mankind will need to grow, explore, discover new energy and material resources, and relocate businesses that are harmful to the planet into space. Blue Origin is currently working on this by creating partly and completely reusable launch vehicles that are safe, low-cost, and capable of serving the requirements of all civic, commercial, and defense consumers.

Bezos responded to the criticism of his trip by telling CNN’s Rachel Crane, “They are largely right. We have to do both. We have lots of problems here and now on Earth and we need to work on those, and we always need to look to the future. We’ve always done that as a species, as a civilization.”

Richard Branson, the Virgin Group’s billionaire founder, applauded Bezos when his Virgin Galactic rocket aircraft flew 53 miles over New Mexico earlier this month, tweeting, “Well done @blueorigin,@jeffbezos, Mark, Wally, and Oliver. Impressive! Very best to all the crew from me and all the team at @virgingalactic.”

After landing, Branson described the journey as a “experience of a lifetime. … I have dreamt of this moment since I was a kid, but honestly nothing can prepare you for the view of Earth from space. The whole thing was just magical.”

According to the National Environmental Satellite Data and Information Service, Bezos and Branson would only be able to enter space if they traveled up to 60 miles in altitude:

A common definition of space is known as the Kármán Line, an imaginary boundary 100 kilometers (62 miles) above mean sea level. In theory, once this 100 km line is crossed, the atmosphere becomes too thin to provide enough lift for conventional aircraft to maintain flight. At this altitude, a conventional plane would need to reach orbital velocity or risk falling back to Earth.

The world governing body for aeronautic and astronautic records, the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), and many other organizations use the Kármán Line as a way of determining when space flight has been achieved.

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