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Elon Musk jokes about Jeff Bezos’ rocket envy

In the latest chapter of a long-running space spat, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk took aim at his billionaire rival Jeff Bezos today with a barrage of double entendres that were delivered from the stage at this week’s Code Conference.

The jests he shared with journalist Kara Swisher, host of the Beverly Hills event, focused on the phallic shape of the New Shepard suborbital rocket ship built by Blue Origin, Bezos’ space venture.

“It could be a different shape, potentially,” Musk noted.

“Could you explain from a technological point of view why it’s that shape?” Swisher asked.

“If you are only doing suborbital, then your rocket can be shorter, yes,” Musk joked.

More seriously, Musk said Bezos and Blue Origin should spend less time contesting NASA’s $2.9 billion award to SpaceX for a Starship lunar lander and more time getting the company’s New Glenn rocket to orbit. New Glenn’s first launch is currently scheduled for late 2022.

“You can’t sue your way to the moon, no matter how good your lawyers are,” he said. When Swisher asked whether Musk ever talked with Bezos about the dispute, he said, “Not verbally … just subtweets.”

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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