Tesla chief Elon Musk took a dig at Jeff Bezos after SpaceX won a moon landing contract from Nasa and Bezos' Blue Origin tried to challenge the award. With this, the space race between the world's two richest men took an interesting turn.
Bezos and Musk have been trying to launch long-range orbital rockets and competing for a US government to build a spaceship to deliver astronauts to the moon by 2024. With the Nasa award, it seems Musk has won in the race.
This led to Blue Origin filing a protest with the Government Accountability Office, saying the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) moved the goalposts for contract bidders at the last minute.
Musk then shot back, saying "Can't get it up (to orbit) lol."
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He did not elaborate on the tweet, but pasted a screenshot of a 2019 report about Bezos unveiling Blue Origin's moon lander on the same Twitter thread.
Blue Origin has fallen far behind SpaceX and United Launch Alliance (ULA) on orbital transportation, losing out on billions of dollars' worth of U.S. national security launch contracts that begin in 2022. ULA is a joint venture of Boeing Co and Lockheed Martin Corp.
These rocket startups mainly aim to send satellites for clients into orbit at an affordable price and reuse parts of rockets to keep costs in check.
Blue Origin was dealt another blow earlier this month, when NASA awarded SpaceX the lunar contract. The sought-after project aims to put humans back on the moon for the first time since 1972.
"NASA has executed a flawed acquisition for the Human Landing System program and moved the goalposts at the last minute," Blue Origin said in an emailed statement.
"Their decision eliminates opportunities for competition, significantly narrows the supply base, and not only delays, but also endangers America's return to the moon. Because of that, we've filed a protest with the GAO."
Musk's SpaceX bid alone while Amazon.com founder Bezos' Blue Origin partnered with Lockheed Martin Corp Northrop Grumman Corp and Draper.
The filing of the 50-page protest by Blue Origin was reported earlier by the New York Times.