SpaceX vs. Blue Origin - Musk and Bezos’ dinner that fuelled the space rivalry | World News - Hindustan Times
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SpaceX vs. Blue Origin - Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos’ dinner that fuelled the space rivalry

Sep 14, 2023 07:37 PM IST

Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos' epic space rivalry, born from shared passion, shaped space exploration, including battles over contracts and patents.

In the world of space exploration, the rivalry between tech titans Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos has become the stuff of legend. What began as a cordial introduction in 2004 evolved into a fierce competition that would shape the future of space travel.

Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos' epic space rivalry, born from shared passion, shaped space exploration, including battles over contracts and patents.(X/TrungTPhan)
Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos' epic space rivalry, born from shared passion, shaped space exploration, including battles over contracts and patents.(X/TrungTPhan)

Walter Isaacson's biography of Elon Musk provides an intimate look at the interactions between these two iconic figures. Both Musk and Bezos shared a deep passion for space, stemming from their childhood fascination with science fiction. This shared enthusiasm led to the creation of Blue Origin for Bezos and SpaceX for Musk.

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Their initial encounter in 2004 set the stage for their rivalry. Musk was perturbed that Bezos had not reciprocated with an invitation to see Blue Origin's factory in Seattle. However, a dinner was arranged, and ideas flowed as freely as the wine.

This rivalry reached new heights when SpaceX secured contracts from NASA for human missions to the International Space Station. The battle for Cape Canaveral's Pad 39A, a launch facility steeped in history, became a focal point, leading to a bitter legal battle ultimately won by SpaceX.

Musk's sharp wit didn't spare Bezos, as he ridiculed Blue Origin's rockets and famously quipped about discovering "unicorns dancing in the flame duct."

Despite their rivalry, both shared a common goal - reusable rockets. Bezos focused on soft landings, while Musk obsessively trimmed rocket weight. Musk believed that "a fully reusable rocket is the difference between being a single-planet civilization and a multiplanet one."

Also Read | SpaceX's Starship, the world's most powerful rocket, to remain grounded after explosion probe

Their rivalry extended to patent disputes, with Bezos securing a patent for sea landings. Although the patent was canceled, tensions continued to simmer. In 2021, SpaceX clinched a contract to take NASA astronauts on a lunar mission, intensifying the rivalry.

This epic rivalry wasn't confined to space, as it played out on social media. Musk's supporters on Twitter rallied behind him, ridiculing Blue Origin. Musk himself humorously tweeted, "Can't get it up (to orbit) lol."

As these 'boyish billionaires' continue to push the boundaries of space exploration, their rivalry remains a driving force behind groundbreaking achievements in the final frontier.

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