Elon Musk mocks Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin flight by saying 'your rocket can be shorter' for suborbital launches

Elon Musk mocks Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin flight by saying 'your rocket can be shorter' for suborbital launches
Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos. John Locher/AP and Odd Andersen/AFP via Getty Images
  • Elon Musk joked about the shape of Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket at the Code Conference Tuesday.
  • Musk said "your rocket can be shorter" for suboribital flights, prompting laughs from the audience.
  • The heated rivalry between Musk and Bezos often shows up via their respective space companies.

SpaceX co-founder Elon Musk took a swipe at rival and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos on Tuesday, poking fun at the shape of the rocket the Amazon founder recently flew in.

At the Code Conference on Tuesday, interviewer Kara Swisher asked Musk about the phallic shape of Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket.

"I think it could be a different shape potentially," Musk said initially.

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Pressed by Swisher about possible technical justifications for the shape, Musk added: "If you're only going suboribital, your rocket can be shorter," drawing laughs from the audience.

In July, Bezos completed a 3-minute suborbital trip in a flight unlike any prior launch, with no pilot and no spacesuits.


Musk, who has a heated rivalry with Bezos and had already commented on a "Star Wars" meme poking fun at the flight, doubled down on Tuesday.

Musk's company, SpaceX, completed the first all-tourist flight to orbit the earth earlier this month, and he and Bezos have frequently jousted on social media and through regulators and other legal avenues. Blue Origin has filed a flurry of complaints to the FCC about SpaceX's Starlink satellite-internet network and other matters.

"I think he should put more energy in getting to orbit than lawsuits," Musk said when asked by Swisher about Blue Origin's legal actions. "You can't sue your way to the moon no matter how good your lawyers are."