The two American agencies are feuding over delay in the execution of government contracts on SpaceX CEO Elon Musk's side. While NASA has often collaborated with SpaceX on sending satellites, crew, and supplies to the International Space Station (ISS), signs of friction were seen on September 27. One day prior to Musk unveiling his new shiny spacecraft 'Starship', NASA director Jim Bridenstine gently reminded Musk of his impending 'Commercial Crew' commitment. He stated that NASA expected the same level of commitment to investments made by the American taxpayer.
As per reports, Musk had been awarded a multi-billion dollar Commercial Crew contract by NASAin 2014. This contract was to build a spacecraft that would take astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS). The contract was reportedly alongside Boeing aimed at ferrying the ISS crew. While the contract has been hit by several delays, including an explosion during a ground test of the Dragon Crew capsule back in July, it was scheduled to have been completed by now.
Retaliating to Bridenstine's comment, Musk said in an interview to an American News Channel, " Everything in aerospace is eight years behind. Most of the work that is required from now through flight of NASA astronauts is a long series of safety reviews, so it’s not really hardware related, and it’s really going as fast as we can go. If there’s some way to make it go faster, I would make it go faster.”
NASA has been using Russian Soyuz capsules to send their astronauts to the International Space Station. Hence, it is eager to launch astronauts from American soil soon. Meanwhile, SpaceX recently inveiled 'Starship' which is designed to carry a crew and cargo to the moon or Mars and land back on Earth. Musk has predicted that the Starship's first orbital flight could come in the next six months. Musk hopes to launch space missions with humans aboard in 2020.