The space race between the world's two richest men catapulted into hyperdrive on Tuesday after Tesla chief Elon Musk took a swipe at Jeff Bezos' attempt to challenge a major NASA contract.
After Musk’s SpaceX beat out Jeff Bezos’s team earlier this month for a coveted contract to build a spaceship that would send astronauts to the Moon, Bezos’s Blue Origin filed a protest Monday with the Government Accountability Office. It accused NASA of moving the goalposts for contract bidders at the last minute.
Musk couldn’t hold back. He tweeted, “Can’t get it up (to orbit) lol.”
He did not elaborate … but on the same Twitter thread, he pasted a screenshot of a 2019 report that shows Bezos unveiling Blue Origin’s moon lander.
Blue Origin has fallen far behind SpaceX and the United Launch Alliance, a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin. It has lost out on billions of dollars’ worth of national security launch contracts.
In the competition that led to the spat, Blue Origin teamed up with three other companies to bid for the coveted lunar contract that aims to put man on the moon for the first time since 1972. SpaceX flew solo, bidding alone. Musk won; Bezos lost.