Mr. Elon Musk, CEO of Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX), has indicated that Mr. Jeff Bezos, owner of Blue Origin LLC, needs to take his space exploration efforts more seriously. The two are in charge of two of the three businesses constructing next-generation heavy-lift American rockets for lunar and Martian missions, as well as vying for NASA contracts (NASA). While Blue Origin plans to launch its first orbital-class rocket shortly, SpaceX has previously flown its Falcon 9 rocket hundreds of times.
Yet, when NASA’s lunar exploration missions begin in a few years, they will face off, with SpaceX having already earned a contract from the space agency and Blue Origin prepping for a future award. Musk made his remarks in a tweet last week when he continued to engage with his followers on a poll he had shared, which asked them who they trusted more when it came to billionaires and politicians. This survey was part of a recent scandal that the billionaire found himself in after a short back-and-forth on the social media site that Musk wishes to purchase with representative Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).
Unlike another survey in which Musk defeated Ocasio-Cortez, this one showed politicians gain over a million votes and outnumber billionaires. Musk also offered his thoughts on fellow billionaires Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos during his encounters. He said that he was less likely to trust Mr. Gates because of his significant short position on Musk’s electric car firm Tesla. When it comes to Mr. Bezos, though, the billionaire said that he had no animosity against the Amazon CEO, but that he believes Bezos should start working more.
Late last year, NASA elected to grant Musk’s SpaceX and Bezos’ Blue Origin a multibillion-dollar contract to put people on the Moon, bringing them to the forefront of public attention. The space agency had high hopes of handing out two prizes, but it was very cautious not to commit to doing so when it put out its request for proposals since it anticipated that there would not be enough money in the budget from the government.
Both firms were nominated for the final grant, but NASA went with SpaceX, explaining their reasons in a long letter. Blue Origin, unable to accept defeat, filed a complaint with the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) and eventually sued NASA. Despite Bezos’ pledge to pay a major chunk of the NASA contract if the space agency altered its decision, the firm lost both times.
NASA then decided to extend SpaceX’s contract and issue a fresh request for proposals for a second lunar lander. The risky nature of space travel needs redundancy, and while SpaceX’s extension hopes to create a long-term lunar presence, the new contract that Blue Origin is vying for would provide NASA access to two lunar landers.