Bezos Slams Musk and SpaceX With Infographic, Musk Gets Final Word With Not-So-Subtle Tweet
The space race competition heated up after NASA awarded Musk's SpaceX with the sole contract to send Americans to the moon over Bezos' Blue Origin.
It all began on July 30 when Blue Origin, Bezos’ space-exploration company, was denied a protest against the U.S. Government Accountability Office after NASA awarded Musk’s space-exploration company, SpaceX, a $2.9 billion contract that would allow SpaceX to be the only company permitted to build vehicles that would let astronauts land on the moon.
“We’ll continue to advocate for two immediate providers as we believe it is the right solution,” Blue Origin said in a statement at the time. “The Human Landing System program needs to have competition now instead of later – that’s the best solution for NASA and the best solution for our country.”
Yesterday, Bezos and Blue Origin doubled down in protest against NASA’s decision by posting a strongly worded infographic on the company’s website.
Under the HLS National Team (a group including Blue Origin, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Draper that are aiming to develop a Human Landing System to get Americans back on the moon) section of the Blue Origin website, the infographic calls SpaceX’s lunar starship “immensely complex” and “high risk” in big, bold orange letters.
“There are an unprecedented number of technologies, developments, and operations that have never been done before for [SpaceX’s] Starship to land on the Moon,” the graphic reads. “This includes developing Super Heavy - not only the largest launch vehicle stage ever produced, but one that has to be reusable - and Starship, the first ever reusable second stage.”
The graphic then continues to talk about the risk in making sure both of those systems can cohesively work together while also noting that the launch site in Boca Chica, Texas (where Starship would launch from) has never successfully completed an orbital launch.
“For just a single Starship lunar landing, this all must be done more than 10 times flawlessly,” the note says in conclusion.
Below the infographic is a link to a statement put out by Blue Origin aptly titled “NASA’s Decision to Eliminate Competition from the Human Landing System Wrong for America” in which Blue Origin accuses NASA of a “flawed acquisition” of SpaceX and running an “inconsistent and unfair competition.”
Though Musk has not directly fired back at Bezos, he seems to have made his commentary clear per a tweet he posted in response to a video of him finding out he had won the grant from NASA.
Just want to say thanks to those in government who fight hard for the right thing to happen, despite extreme pressure to do otherwise.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 4, 2021
Therein lies the core goodness of the American state.
“I do love NASA, always have,” Musk wrote in his first tweet of a two-tweet thread.
He continued: “Just want to say thanks to those in government who fight hard for the right thing to happen, despite extreme pressure to do otherwise. Therein lies the core goodness of the American state.”
NASA and SpaceX are currently aiming to get astronauts to the moon by 2024.