Elon Musk Trolls Jeff Bezos After Losing NASA Lawsuit Over Blue Origin Space Contract

Elon Musk, founder and CEO of SpaceX, trolled Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos after a federal judge rejected Bezos' legal attempt to overturn NASA's lunar landing contract.

In response to the recent ruling, Musk responded to a tweet from CNBC reporter Michael Sheetz with a picture from the 2012 movie Dredd.

"You have been judged," the caption from Musk's own tweet says.

The response from Musk comes shortly after federal Judge Richard A. Hertling sided with NASA, refuting Blue Origin's arguments that SpaceX was unfairly awarded NASA's lunar landing contract.

Bezos and Blue Origin first filed the lawsuit against NASA in August after the space agency awarded SpaceX a $2.9 billion contract to develop a system that will bring astronauts to the moon's surface for the first time since 1972.

Prior to the lawsuit filed by Bezos and Blue Origin, NASA said in April 2020 that it selected SpaceX, Blue Origin and Dynetics for a contract worth nearly $1 billion to develop a Human Landing System (HLS) for NASA's Artemis program.

A few months later in November of last year, NASA said that "up to two" of the three private companies could be chosen to continue developing the HLS—but noted that it would be based on the amount of money the agency had.

In April of this year, NASA announced that the HLS contract was awarded to SpaceX, prompting criticism and protests from both Blue Origin and Dynetics.

Bezos, who is also the founder of Amazon, penned a letter to NASA Administrator Bill Nelson in which he offered billions of dollars in funding to pay for his own lunar landing mission.

"Instead of investing in two competing lunar landers as originally intended, the Agency chose to confer a multi-year, multi-billion-dollar head start to SpaceX. That decision broke the mold of NASA's successful commercial space programs by putting an end to meaningful competition for years to come," Bezos wrote in the letter. "Blue Origin will bridge the HLS budgetary funding shortfall by waiving all payments in the current and next two government fiscal years up to $2B to get the program back on track right now. This offer is not a deferral, but is an outright and permanent waiver of those payments."

Following the judge's ruling on Thursday, a spokesperson for Blue Origin said in a statement sent to CNBC that the lawsuit "highlighted the important safety issues with the Human Landing System procurement process that must still be addressed."

"Returning astronauts safely to the Moon through NASA's public-private partnership model requires an unprejudiced procurement process alongside sound policy that incorporates redundant systems and promotes competition. Blue Origin remains deeply committed to the success of the Artemis program," the statement said, per CNBC.

Newsweek reached out to Blue Origin and SpaceX for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Blue Origin
SpaceX's Elon Musk trolled Jeff Bezos, founder of Blue Origin, after a judge rejected Bezos' lawsuit for a lunar contract. Above, the New Shepard Blue Origin rocket lifts off from the launch pad carrying Jeff Bezos along with his brother Mark Bezos, 18-year-old Oliver Daemen, and 82-year-old Wally Funk prepare to launch on July 20, 2021 in Van Horn, Texas. Joe Raedle/Getty