SpaceX Founder Elon Musk threatens to sue Blue Origin over environmental damage allegations

Blue Origin argued that SpaceX’s plans to launch Starship rockets from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida should be restricted to protect the local environment, workers, and community
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SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has reignited his long-standing feud with Amazon founder and Blue Origin CEO Jeff Bezos. The latest clash started when Blue Origin, which hasn’t launched a single rocket into orbit yet, filed a complaint with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). They argued that SpaceX’s plans to launch Starship rockets from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida should be restricted to protect the local environment, workers, and community.

Musk didn’t take this lightly and fired back on his social media platform X, calling Blue Origin’s complaint an “obviously disingenuous response” and accusing them of trying to impede SpaceX’s progress through legal means for the third time. He even used his favourite nickname for Blue Origin, “Sue Origin.”

The rivalry between Musk and Bezos is nothing new. Musk has taken plenty of shots at Bezos and Blue Origin over the years. In 2019, he mocked Blue Origin’s “Blue Moon” lander by calling it “Blue Balls” in a photoshopped image. And in 2021, he tweeted that Bezos “can’t get it up,” referring to Blue Origin’s struggles to reach orbit.

Blue Origin has consistently opposed SpaceX’s Starship development. They argue that NASA should choose their lunar lander instead of Starship, claiming it’s too large and inefficient for moon missions. This led to Bezos suing NASA in 2021 over its contract with SpaceX, though the lawsuit was dismissed. NASA later awarded Blue Origin a separate lunar lander contract.

In 2021, Amazon’s satellite company Kuiper Systems also tried to block SpaceX from expanding its Starlink constellation. Musk responded by accusing Bezos of retiring to “pursue a full-time job filing lawsuits against SpaceX.”

Regarding environmental concerns, SpaceX’s Starship operations in South Texas have already undergone an environmental assessment, and the FAA recently issued a license for its fourth test flight. However, moving Starship launches to Kennedy Space Center has triggered another environmental impact investigation.

Musk and Bezos’ feud highlights the fierce competition in the commercial space sector. While Musk argues that Blue Origin’s concerns are disingenuous, the significant investments both have in space exploration suggest there might be a mix of genuine concerns and competitive strategies at play.

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