Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk have been rivals for almost 15 years now.
The two have not so privately sparred over their space ambitions with Jeff Bezos taking the helm at Blue Origin and Elon Musk working with his SpaceX.
Blue Origin: Origins
Currently, the richest man on Earth, Jeff Bezos has a net worth of 189 billion. However, this was not the case back in 1995 when he had just founded Amazon.
It would not go public until 1997 which would eventually catapult him to world fame. His ambitions, however, were always to the moon as he told Miami Harold in 1982 that he wanted to create outer space colonies.
This dream translated to the founding of Blue Origin in 2000.
PayPal For SpaceX
Around the same time, Blue Origin was being born, Elon Musk was well on his way to be a billionaire.
Selling zip2 to Compaq for 300 million and PayPal to eBay for 1.5 billion, Musk launched SpaceX in 2002.
2004: The Rivalry Begins
The internet-famous rivalry dates back to one particular dinner the two had together in 2004 where they discussed respective reusable rocket designs.
2013: NASA Launchpad Triggers The Billionaires
When NASA decided to lease a Launchpad, SpaceX tried to get exclusive access to it.
But Bezos filed a formal protest with the government. Bezos reportedly wanted to transform it “into a commercial spaceport available to all launch companies.”
Shots were fired with Elon Musk going as far as calling this a “phony blocking tactic”.
In the end, however, SpaceX took home the rights to the launch pad.
2014: Drone Patent Gets Musk Impatient
Blue Origin had a patent for landing rocket boosters. So SpaceX had to pay to use the technology.
But Musk countered saying that drone technology has existed from before. He eventually won the case with Bezos withdrawing most of the claims on the patent.
2015-now: Tweet For Tat
Musk and Bezos are seen fighting it over on Twitter regularly. Musk has, over many years, called Bezos “rude”, “copycat”, and even made fun of his project “Blue moon” by changing the name to “blue balls”.
For his part, Bezos has been less overt about his distaste for Musk and SpaceX, but he’s made veiled comments about his thoughts on the company’s plans.
In April, NASA gave SpaceX the sole contract for sending humans to the moon, at a price of around 2.9 billion
In January, Musk overtook Bezos to become the richest person in the world, but Bezos has since regained the top spot.
On July 20, Bezos and his younger brother, Mark, will take an 11-minute flight aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard spacecraft.
The flight will send the crew 62 miles above the Earth’s surface before returning to Earth.
While SpaceX has achieved the feat of the human flight back in May 2020, Bezos will probably be the first to reach space.
What happens next in the Musk Bezos rivalry would be definitely worth the watch.
Written By: Dr. Namrata Nath
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