Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin is beefing with Elon Musk’s SpaceX again, claiming that Starship is too complex to safely land astronauts on the moon

Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos

  • Blue Origin said SpaceX’s lunar landing craft is “immensely complex and high risk.”
  • Bezos’ space company has been lobbying NASA to let it compete with Musk’s on a $2.9 billion contract.
  • NASA awarded the contract to SpaceX in April, triggering an official complaint from Blue Origin.

Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin has reignited its war of words with Elon Musk’s SpaceX by attacking the capabilities of SpaceX’s Starship craft.

Blue Origin has posted an infographic on its website, first spotted by CNBCon Wednesday, which argues against using Starship to land NASA astronauts on the moon.

In the graphic, Blue Origin describes Starship as “immensely complex and high risk.” The quote is derived from a NASA analysis published in April that nonetheless recommended awarding SpaceX an exclusive $2.9 billion contract to help take astronauts back to the moon.



Text on the Blue Origin infographic says: “There are an unprecedented number of technologies, developments, and operations that have never been done before for Starship to land on the moon.” Starship will have torefuel in orbit if it’s going to reach the moon, which Blue Origin cited an example of an unprecedented process.

Blue Origin also said SpaceX’s Boca Chica launch site in Texas has never launched a Starship fully into orbit – although as noted by CNBC, Blue Origin has also never conducted an orbital flight.

Bezos was aboard Blue Origin’s first passenger flight to space last monthbut the craft did not go into orbit.

In its infographic, Blue Origin said that its own lunar lander, which more closely resembles lunar landers of previous NASA moon missions, has a crew hatch 32 feet from the ground, whereas SpaceX’s enormous Starship has a hatch 126 feet off the ground.

In April, Blue Origin filed an official complaint about SpaceX’s selection to work on NASA’s moon landings but it was rejected by the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) in late July.

Blue Origin has lobbied furiously for NASA to open the contract up to other vendors, with Jeff Bezos offering to front billions in funding from his personal wealth. Even after the GAO’s judgement, the company maintained NASA “ran a flawed acquisition and ignored the significant risks of a one provider model,” per CNBC.

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