Billionaire space race gets personal: Elon Musk mocks Jeff Bezos’ penis-shaped rocket and criticises him for appealing to FCC to reject SpaceX’s Starlink project saying: ‘You cannot sue your way into orbit’
In what has been dubbed the billionaire space race, Bezos and Virgin’s Richard Branson both entered orbit in the last few months, while Musk’s company successfully completed the first all-civilian space flight.
But when asked about Bezos at the 2021 Code Conference in Beverly Hill on Tuesday, Musk joked that the Amazon founder’s rocket ‘could be a different shape’.
‘Could you explain from a technological point of view why it’s that shape?’ journalist Kara Swisher asked Musk in a live interview.
‘If you are only doing suborbital, then your rocket can be shorter, yes,’ he said.
The comments made reference to Bezos’ much-mocked New Shepard rocket, the design of which drew comparisons to male genitalia, spawning innumerable memes.
Musk’s jibe on Tuesday came amid an ongoing legal battle between Amazon and SpaceX over the Starlink satellite network.
Elon Musk (pictured) mocked Jeff Bezos at the 2021 Code Conference on Tuesday amid a legal spat over plans for SpaceX’s Starlink satellite network and a NASA deal [File photo]
Musk’s made reference to Bezos’ much-mocked New Shepard rocket (pictured), the design of which drew comparisons to male genitalia, spawning innumerable memes
In what has been dubbed the billionaire space race, Bezos (pictured) and Virgin’s Richard Branson both entered orbit in the last few months, while Musk’s company successfully completed the first all-civilian space flight
Amazon has appealed to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), asking it to reject the proposal that would see the constellation of more than 1,600 satellites expanded considerably.
Starlink already provides internet access covering most of the Earth and is a direct competitor to proposed plans from Amazon, Samsung and others.
Amazon is also challenging SpaceX over NASA’s $2.9billion award for a Starship lunar lander and more time getting the company’s New Glenn rocket into orbit, Geekwire reported.
The rocket’s launch is currently scheduled for late 2022.
NASA choosing SpaceX for the project means the company will have a hand in landing the next Americans on the moon.
‘You cannot sue your way to the moon, no matter how good your lawyers are,’ Musk said during the hour-long discussion on Tuesday.
Asked by Swisher whether he had ever talked with Bezos about the dispute, Musk – a prolific Twitter user – said, ‘Not verbally … just subtweets.’
A decision on the lunar lander lawsuit by Blue Origin – Bezos’ aerospace company – is expected by early November. Pending the decision, NASA’s award to SpaceX has been suspended.
When asked whether he would like to travel to space as Bezos and Branson had done, Musk said that he would likely go ‘at some point’ but that a personal trip was not his goal.
‘My goal is to open up space for humanity and ultimately set us on a path to becoming a spacefaring civilization and a multiplanet species,’ he said.
Amazon has appealed to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), asking it to reject a proposal that would see SpaceX’s Starlink (pictured) – a constellation of more than 1,600 satellites -expanded considerably.