Why Elon Musk’s SpaceX Competitors Are Watching in ‘Awe and Horror’

by Michael Freeman

Elon Musk’s desires regarding SpaceX are ambitious, to say the least. After hearing about some of his plans for space, his competitors stated they are watching in “a mix of awe and horror.”

During his most recent Starship rocket update on Thursday, Musk pledged it would be making its first orbital journey in the coming months. If the plans come to fruition, it would make his previous endeavors seem modest. However, competitors and supporters alike share mixed opinions about his lofty plans. Politico discussed Musk’s goal, noting other space-interested organizations are watching “with a mix of awe and horror.”

On one hand, the prospect of a manned rocket going to places like Mars and back is mind-boggling. “Scott Altman, the Space Operating Group at ASRC Federal president, seems excited by the prospect. “It is the kind of thing we used to talk about as ‘wouldn’t it be great if we could do these kinds of things?’”

Nonetheless, other agencies almost seem frightened by Musk’s plans. In fact, a top Washington space lobbiest working for SpaceX’s competitors explicitly said “They are sh-tting the bed,” when talking about SpaceX. As one might expect, NASA and its industry partners desperately have their own aspirations for space. They are all lagging behind Musk’s company though.

NASA, for instance, wants to create its own moon vehicle but is billions of dollars over its allotted budget. On top of that, they are years behind schedule and SpaceX’s leaps in innovation. In short, SpaceX’s progress threatens space contractors and their allies in Congress. After all, if SpaceX is experiencing such momentum, why wouldn’t you contract them instead for space-related work?

Should Musk’s Starship live up to being “rapidly reusable,” it could revolutionize our future off of earth and spaceflight.

Though some organizations worry about SpaceX because of its potential success, other groups have a negative problem with another of Elon Musk’s companies. Animal Rights groups recently came out and accused Neuralink of abusing and “torturing” monkeys.

For the uninitiated, Neuralink is currently developing a brain-computer interface. It claims not only could it make humans even more intelligent, but could allow paralyzed people to walk again. Daily Mail reports this promise comes at a cost though. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) alleges between 2017 and 2020, the company owned test monkeys that were subject to experiments equaling “torture.” Said experiments left rashes, self-mutilation, and brain hemorrhages.

PCRM lodged a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Thursday. In the complaint, they stated “Many, if not all, of the monkeys experienced extreme suffering as a result of inadequate animal care and the highly invasive experimental head implants during the experiments, which were performed in pursuit of developing what Neuralink and Elon Musk have publicly described as a ‘brain-machine interface.'”