Elon Musk doesn’t like Jeff Bezos ’Blue Origin, and he made that clear. CNET reports Musk told Code conference attendees, Bezos should put more effort into “entering orbit than into lawsuits,” and that you might not “sue your way to the moon,” as Blue Origin reportedly tried when he lost a bid for The moon. He was also less than flattering to Virgin Galactic, describing his first passenger flight and Blue Origin as a “step in the direction of orbit” that failed in SpaceX’s efforts.
Although Musk is known for being sharp, he could have some support in this case. The Verge obtained NASA’s legal documents showing that the space agency was considered to have “gambled” Blue Origin with the originally proposed lunar lander price of $ 5.9 billion. Bezos’ company reportedly set the price far higher than necessary because it expected NASA to award the contract and negotiate lower costs. Blue Origin also reportedly assumed that NASA would receive from Congress all the necessary funds for that initial price, even when the Senate made it clear that NASA would not receive the required amount.
You know what happened next. Instead of bargaining with the price, NASA chose a $ 2.9 billion bid for SpaceX. Blue Origin disputed the award and even made a final bid of $ 2 billion, but by then it was already too late. The government’s accountability office dismissed Blue Origin’s claims, saying NASA did not violate regulations when selecting SpaceX. Bezos’ clothes took NASA to court about two weeks later.
In one interview, Blue Origin vice president Megan Mitchell told The Verge the company rejected NASA’s views. She felt that Blue Origin had made a “great offer” and disagreed with NASA’s characterization of gambling. GAO said separately that NASA had partially violated the safety review requirements for the proposal, although it continued to side with SpaceX on the grounds that Blue Origin did not explain how the move provided an unfair advantage.
That doesn’t mean Musk and SpaceX are innocent. SpaceX sued the U.S. in 2019 after losing an air force missile contract with Blue Origin and other competitors, for example. Musk’s trash talk seems to have some weight in this modern Moon race.
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