The space race among the world’s two wealthiest men got heavy on Tuesday when Tesla CEO Elon Musk swiped at Amazon’s Jeff Bezos’ attempt to compete on a large NASA contract.
The two have been attempting to put long-range rockets into orbit, and were competing for a big contract with the U.S. government to manufacture a spaceship to put astronauts on the moon as soon as 2024.
Bezos lost and Musk won. And Bezos is not happy.
Bezos’ company, Blue Origin, sent in a protest to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), saying NASA moved goalposts for bidders at the last moment.
Musk, who leads SpaceX, hit back in a tweet saying: “Can’t get it up (to orbit) lol.”
No explanation was given about what this tweet meant, but Musk posted a screenshot of a story about Bezos announcing Blue Origin’s moon lander.
Blue Origin has got far behind United Launch Alliance (ULA) and SpaceX on orbital technology, missing out on U.S. contracts that begun in 2022. ULA is a partnership between Lockheed Martin Corp and Boeing.
These companies are mostly aimed at sending satellites into orbit for a cheap price and reusing parts of rockets to bring down costs.
NASA gave SpaceX the contract instead of Blue Origin. The program aims to put humans back onto the moon.
“NASA has performed a flawed contract for the program and changed the details at the last moment., Blue Origin said in a statement.
“Their choice prevents competition and restricts supply, and not only sets back, but also threatens America’s future moon mission. Because of this, we have filed a complaint with the GAO.”