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Elon Musk tells Amazon CEO: Space X did it first

Space X CEO Elon Musk has been talking space again on Twitter, but this time he’s been using it to point out his own company’s achievements in the wake of Amazon’s successful Blue Origin launch. Although that was quite an achievement, he pointed out that Space X had been performing similar tests for years and that really the first reusable, sub-orbital rocket was the X-15, which first flew in 1959.

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The Blue Origin launch on Monday was a historic one. It showed another rocket concept that could be launched into the farthest reaches of Earth’s atmosphere and return safely, bringing back not only the crew capsule but the rocket booster too – landing it safely back on land. The idea for it is to offer short space tourism trips to allow a few minutes of weightlessness and quite a view of the world.

Landing the booster rocket back on land too makes this trip much cheaper than your average rocket launch. Although as Elon Musk was keen to point out, this little rocket doesn’t get into orbit, it just pokes its head out of the atmosphere. As he said, there’s a big difference between going to space and going into orbit.

CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos hasn’t officially responded to Musk’s jabs, but did post his first tweet since joining the site back in 2008 to announce the news, describing the Blue Origin used rocket as one of the “rarest of beasts.”

Of course as much as Space X has shown controlled landings with its Falcon 9 rocket after short launches, it hasn’t been able to successfully land its reusable first-stage on the automated barge. Its last few attempts either failed during launch or crashed onto the platform during the descent. With the last one so close though and another set to take place in December, all eyes will be on Space X to see what it can do.

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KitGuru Says: As much as you can understand Musk’s frustration at another company stealing some commercial space limelight, competition in this sort of field is so important to make it affordable. Plus these sorts of trips are something that average people may one day be able to afford. 

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