Elon Musk Says Jeff Bezos ‘Can’t Get It Up’ After SpaceX Beats Blue Origin To $2.9 Million NASA Contract

by : Cameron Frew on : 27 Apr 2021 09:11
Elon Musk Says Jeff Bezos 'Can't Get It Up' After SpaceX Beats Blue Origin To $2.9 Million NASA ContractPA Images

Elon Musk said Jeff Bezos ‘can’t get it up’ after the Amazon founder lost to SpaceX’s bid for a NASA lunar lander contract.

Four astronauts who blasted off to space in a Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule recently docked at the International Space Station, marking another successful collaboration between Musk’s firm and the space agency – and it would appear it’s the beginning of many (ad)ventures to come.


Earlier this month, SpaceX secured a $2.9 billion contract to develop Starship, a spacecraft that will see the first woman and person of colour land on the moon. However, Bezos has taken issue with NASA’s decision.

Responding to a report from The New York Times regarding Bezos’s 50-page protest with the federal Government Accountability Office over the contract, Musk wrote, ‘Can’t get it up (to orbit) lol.’

The protest doesn’t stem from Amazon’s interests in the space race. Bezos, who will step down as CEO from the e-commerce behemoth later this year, filed it under his Blue Origin space exploration company. SpaceX also won over Dynetics, a Huntsville, Alabama-based defence contractor, which also filed a protest.


Bob Smith, chief executive of Blue Origin, which made a pricier bid at just shy of $6 billion, criticised NASA for ‘flawed evaluations of the bids’ and overestimating SpaceX’s likelihood of success, as per the publication.


He said, ‘It’s really atypical for NASA to make these kinds of errors. They’re generally quite good at acquisition, especially its flagship missions like returning America to the surface of the moon. We felt that these errors needed to be addressed and remedied.’

Blue Origin also explained in a statement, ‘NASA has executed a flawed acquisition for the Human Landing System program and moved the goalposts at the last minute. In NASA’s own words, it has made a high risk selection. Their decision eliminates opportunities for competition, significantly narrows the supply base, and not only delays, but also endangers America’s return to the moon.’

PA ImagesPA Images

While NASA is said to have negotiated the price of SpaceX’s proposal, Blue Origin allegedly wasn’t offered the same opportunity. ‘We didn’t get a chance to revise and that’s fundamentally unfair,’ Smith said.

On April 23, Musk tweeted that it’s likely we’ll see astronauts back on the moon by 2024. ‘Obviously, we need to, like, not be making craters. Got some work to do, but making rapid progress. We’ve got to make sure we’re accelerating the rate of innovation, and then it could be ready in a couple years,’ he said, as per Space.com.

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Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BJTC-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and taken up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: News, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, NASA, Now, Space, SpaceX, US


The New York Times and 1 other
  1. The New York Times

    Jeff Bezos’ Rocket Company Challenges NASA Over SpaceX Moon Lander Deal

  2. Space.com

    SpaceX could land astronauts on the moon in 2024, Elon Musk says