Bernie Sanders claims Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos treat NASA like an ‘ATM’

Senator Bernie Sanders lashed out at Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos over their space ambitions on Friday – claiming in a scathing comment that the two billionaires are using federal support to seek even more wealth among the stars.

Sanders (I-Vt.) warned that the burgeoning space race between Musk’s SpaceX and Bezos’ Blue Origin threatens to become a “huge windfall” that will “open up space to corporate greed and exploitation” rather than benefiting the country.

“I worry that NASA has become little more than an ATM to fuel a space race not between the US and other countries, but between America’s two richest men – Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, who together have more than $450 billion dollars are worth,” Sanders wrote in a comment for The guard.

Musk, who said he paid the steepest tax bill in history in 2021, has feuded with Sanders on multiple occasions. Musk infamously blasted the avowed socialist last November after the senator called for the introduction of a new tax for billionaires.

“I keep forgetting you’re alive,” Musk said at the time.

Elon Musk
Elon Musk’s SpaceX is a leading private space company.
AFP via Getty Images

Bezos took a more tactful approach last July, just before he personally attended Blue Origin’s first civilian flight — and acknowledged that he felt critics who said he was investing more in solving Earth’s problems were “largely right”.

“We have to do both,” Bezos said.

NASA has in recent years teamed up with SpaceX and other private companies to meet the goal of completing another mission to the moon by 2025, the second contract with other companies – with Blue Origin expected to compete for the appearance.

jeff bezos
Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin has operated several civilian flights on its shuttles.
Getty Images

Sanders has been vocal in opposing a provision in Congress that would provide an additional $10 billion in federal funding for the development of lunar landers. Politico reports Last month.

“At a time when more than half of the people in this country are living paycheck to paycheck, when more than 70 million are uninsured or underinsured, and about 600,000 Americans are homeless, we really should consider a multi-billion dollar bailout for Bezos.” the taxpayer offer to fuel his space hobby? I don’t think so,” Sanders said.

SpaceX and Blue Origin did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Blue Origin rocket
Blue Origin wants to apply for a second NASA lunar lander contract
AFP via Getty Images
SpaceX rocket
SpaceX received a NASA contract to build a lunar module.
AP John Raoux

Bezos and Musk are heated rivals in an increasingly competitive private space exploration sector. Both SpaceX and Blue Origin have operated flights with civilian passengers as part of their space tourism efforts.

Earlier this month, Blue Origin unveiled a plan to conduct up to 83 satellite launches over five years as part of its secretive broadband internet project “Project Kuiper” – a service that will be completed directly with SpaceX’s Starlink.

And before NASA opened bidding for a second lunar lander contract, Blue Origin filed and lost a federal lawsuit accusing the agency of improperly awarding the first deal to SpaceX.

“Now is the time for a serious debate in Congress and across the country about how to develop sensible space policies that don’t simply socialize all risks and privatize all gains,” Sanders added. Bernie Sanders claims Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos treat NASA like an ‘ATM’


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