Apparently, Elon Musk’s SpaceX warned that legislation now being considered would reward “Jeff Bezos with a $10 billion sole-source hand-out” that would tie up NASA’s moon plans and hand “space leadership to China.”
But Bezos’ Blue Origin space company is quick to counter this allegation.
“Lie,” it said, three times, and added that,
“What is Elon Musk afraid of…a little competition?”
This is the latest point of tension in what has been a pretty long, drawn-out rivalry involving the world’s two richest men seeking to privatise human space exploration. Musk and Bezos have both squabbled over a launchpad at the Kennedy Space Centre and fought each other over a patent related to landing rockets.
It seems that the two men are taking their rivalry to new grounds — the moon.
“I wish [the rivalry] was extending to ending homeless on earth,” said a Twitter user.
Another user tweeted, rather simply,
“Excited for them to both go to the moon.”
Both Musk and Bezos founded their space exploration companies at roughly the same time. Bezos’ Blue Origin was founded in 2000, while Musk’s SpaceX came about two years later in 2002.
However, it is noted that SpaceX has moved much faster and has higher accomplishments. It first flew a rocket to orbit in 2008, before winning lucrative contracts from NASA and the Pentagon. NASA also relies on SpaceX to fly cargo as well as supplies to the International Space Station, and since last year the company has launched three missions with astronauts to the orbiting laboratory.
Blue Origin, however, is moving somewhat slowly. While it has flown its New Shepard vehicle to space 15 times and is preparing to fly its first mission with humans, the rocket falls shy of reaching orbit.
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Space nerds out there, heads up — this is your time to shine.
*Cover image via Mike Blake / Amazon