A battle to reach Mars has already begun, SpaceX vs Blue Origin. The 21st-century space race is here and in the midst of it all is the battle of the billionaires. On one side, you have Elon Musk, CEO and founder of SpaceX, and on the other, Jeff Bezos, CEO, and founder of Blue Origin. Both are in a race to make space travel more affordable, and as each company continues to grow and expand, that race is heating up.
But where did this all start?
Why are these two titans (SpaceX vs Blue Origin)of the new space industry clashing together? For instance, this goes way back many, many years, actually to the point where they were not even conflicting at all. In 2004, they had dinner together, and they were not really enemies at all. They just sat down, and they talked shop. However, they talked about rockets: “Well, how are you gonna do this? How you gonna do that?” “Well, this is how we’re doing it. “Here’s how I wanna do it “. But things Change with time and that’s when the feud gets started.
Then again, things were different in 2004.
Both SpaceX and Blue Origin were relatively young companies. Neither had launched anything into space. And in fact, neither company even had a functioning rocket yet. But many years after their systems started coming together, and what you start to see is some rivalry, some big rivalry. One of the biggest flare-ups started in 2013 at the time of the historic Launch Complex 39A. After the space shuttles retired in 2011.
A Battle for The Launch Pad
Nasa wasn’t using the launchpad. And so they opened it up for anybody who wants it. However, SpaceX steps up to the plate and says, “We want that for our rockets”. We’d like to use that as a point of operation.” Right after they did that, Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos’ company, comes in and says, “We want that pad too“. Bezos even went as far as filing a complaint with the government to prevent SpaceX from getting that launchpad. Similarly, Elon Musk gets really mad about this, and he says, “That’s a phony blocking tactic. This is just kind of a bunch of BS”. Safe to say the feud was officially in full swing.
Ultimately, Space-X won.
Signing a 20-year lease for pad 39A in 2014. Then, later that same year, the two billionaires were at it again, this time over patents. Bezos had filed a patent for the technology to build reusable rockets, a tactic that could have earned him millions of dollars from competitors who aimed to use similar technology. But when Musk found out about this tactic of Bezos, he stepped into the game – And as part of his fight against this patent, because Musk wanted to do the same thing and he didn’t want to have to shell out gobs of money to BlueOrigin, his competitor. To use this concept, It’s like a Russian science-fiction movie showing a rocket coming down and landing on a boat. So that was used I think as evidence to sort of put the kibosh on this patent, and ultimately SpaceX prevailed.
The Feud had made it to the World Stage.
By the end of 2015, the feud had made it to the world stage. And it’s very obvious, I’m talking about Twitter. In November, Blue Origin launched and landed its suborbital rocket for the first time. – Jeff Bezos is really excited. He goes onto Twitter and says, “This is the rarest of beasts, a used rocket back on the ground,” to which Musk congratulates Bezos online, but he also takes the opportunity to sort of taking a whack at this accomplishment by saying, “Eh, it takes about 100 times more energy to do what we’re trying to do, which is launch a payload into space and bring the booster back. That takes a hundred times the energy. So great job, but we’re gonna try this over here.” And that’s exactly what SpaceX did a month later. So this created some friction.
This is one of the first very public feuds between Musk and Bezos.
By 2019, the number of confrontations had reached a record high. At a private lecture in New York City, Bezos criticized Musk’s goal to colonize Mars. He said, “My friends who want to move to Mars? I say do me a favor: Go live on top of Mount Everest for a year first and see if you like it because it’s a paradise as compared to Mars.” Shortly after that, Musk went after Bezos for announcing Blue Origin’s plan to launch thousands of satellites into space for faster, better internet worldwide. And then this battle of SpaceX vs Blue Origin takes twitter like a storm.
When Musk Thrashes Bezos on Twitter
The problem is Musk had previously announced that, called Starlink, years before, and it’s 12,000 satellites, and so he called Jeff Bezos a copycat in front of everybody. That was a big moment. And not long after that, there was another tweet from Musk about Blue Origin’s latest announcement to return to the moon on its Blue Moon lander. – Musk couldn’t help himself. He chimed in with some childish humor by saying this is a terrible branding choice when you’re putting blue on a giant ball. Wow.
But in the end, it doesn’t really matter which of them is first to go to the moon or first to set up a colony beyond Earth. Behind the scenes, their visions aren’t all that different. They both want to preserve the Earth. They both want to move humanity out into space, where we can have a bigger, bolder future than we would, otherwise by just sticking to the surface of a rock.