Blue Origin New Shepard
At the time, Elon Musk congratulated Blue Origin (which is helmed by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos) for its accomplishment, but noted that what SpaceX was trying to achieve with its reusable Dragon 9 rockets was a much harder feat and not directly comparable.
Congrats to Jeff Bezos and the BO team for achieving VTOL on their booster— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 24, 2015
It is, however, important to clear up the difference between "space" and "orbit", as described well by https://t.co/7PD42m37fZ— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 24, 2015
Looking at the numbers, you can see why Musk took issue with the comparisons to SpaceX’s two previous failed landing attempts. While the New Shepard reaches a height of 62 miles, the Dragon 9 reaches a height of 124 miles. The Dragon 9’s first stage is also about roughly twice as long as New Shepard, which makes it harder to control on landing. New Shepard reaches a maximum speed of around Mach 3 before it transitions for landing, while the Falcon 9 can top Mach 7.5. And when it comes to thrust, the Falcon 9 is pushing over 1.5 million pounds, while the New Shepard has a maximum thrust of 100,000 pounds.
SpaceX Falcon 9 v1.1
Musk and his SpaceX team made it abundantly clear who gets top billing in this new space race earlier this week when a Dragon 9 v1.1 rocket blasted off to an orbital height of 124 miles — launching 11 commercial satellites in the process — and then safely landed upright minutes later. A gracious Bezos returned the favor and congratulated SpaceX.
Congrats @SpaceX on landing Falcon's suborbital booster stage. Welcome to the club!— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) December 22, 2015
Although it’s not exactly what we’d call a bitter rivalry, it’s one that we have been watching with great interest. And apparently, the folks at Taiwanese Animators have been paying attention as well. And putting their typical humorous spin on the matter at hand, they setup a delightful battle between the Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos for our enjoyment.
Needless to say, the video is quite hilarious, making fun of Musk’s and Bezos’ primary gigs — Tesla Motors and Amazon, respectively — while cracking jokes about the two measuring their manhood. There’s even a rather direct reference to Musk being an inspiration for Robert Downey Jr.’s take on Tony Stark (aka Iron Man).