Tesla CEO Elon Musk — who’s now worth over $210 billion and has surpassed Jeff Bezos to become the world’s richest person — said he’ll send the Amazon founder a silver medal and a “giant statue” of the number 2.
“I’m sending a giant statue of the digit ‘2’ to Jeffrey B., along with a silver medal,” Musk wrote in an email to Forbes.
Musk and Bezos have been trading places as the world’s wealthiest person for months as their on-paper billions change rapidly in conjunction with the stock prices of their companies.
Musk’s current fortune as of Tuesday’s end-of-day stock prices stood at a whopping $213 billion, topping Bezos’ $197 billion, according to Bloomberg’s billionaires index.
Musk has added more than $43 billion to his net worth since Jan. 1, according to the index, while Bezos has added fewer than $7 billion this year.
In addition to dueling for the title of world’s richest person, Musk and Bezos have clashed over their space ambitions.
This summer, Bezos flew to suborbital space on ten-minute widely watched launch with his company Blue Origin.
Musk has criticized Blue Origin — and other rival Virgin Galactic — for investing so much in suborbital launches, which he says pale in comparison to the challenges of reaching orbit.
While Musk himself hasn’t yet traveled to space, SpaceX recently launched four civilian astronauts into space for a three-day trip and successfully returned them to Earth — the first mission of its kind.
And behind the scenes, the two companies have been in a heated, multiyear contest for US government contracts.
In April, NASA awarded a $2.9 billion contract to SpaceX, passing up on a bid by Blue Origin.
And last month, Bezos’ company sued the space agency, alleging that it unfairly awarded the contract to Musk’s firm.
Musk responded by saying that Bezos’ Blue Origin should spend more time designing and building rockets and less time suing SpaceX.
“If lobbying [and] lawyers could get [you] to orbit, Bezos would be on Pluto [right now],” Musk wrote in a Twitter reply.
Blue Origin, meanwhile, has released infographics in recent weeks that call SpaceX’s Starship rocket dangerous and point out it is “a launch vehicle that has never flown to orbit and is still being designed.”
Separately, Bezos-owned Amazon has filed a complaint against SpaceX with the Federal Communications Commission, urging the regulator to reject the company’s plan to launch more satellites as part of its satellite internet business.
In return, Musk publicly mocked Bezos, who stepped down from his position as CEO of Amazon this summer.
“Turns out Besos [sic] retired in order to pursue a full-time job filing lawsuits against SpaceX…” Musk wrote on Twitter in August — misspelling Bezos’ name, instead writing the Spanish word for “kisses.”
For Bezos’ part, he has mocked plans to colonize Mars, a key SpaceX ambition.
“My friends who want to move to Mars, I say, do me a favor and go live on the top of Mount Everest for a year first, and see if you like it, because it’s a garden paradise compared to Mars,” Bezos told SpaceNews in 2019.
Published on: Article source