New ULA Low in Smear Campaign Against SpaceX

Eric Berger of the Houston Chronicle, @chronsciguy, just tweeted a couple of pics of “scorecards” that United Launch Alliance is currently handing out at a Boeing event in Florida:

Scorecard from ULA, them vs SpaceX

ULA is handing out these “scorecards”

Wow, this is low, and rather sad.

That US space launch near-monopoly United Launch Alliance thinks they need to trash-talk SpaceX like this says a lot more about them than it does about SpaceX. To call the comparisons disingenuous would be charitable in the extreme. It’s pretty tone-deaf. And the tagline, “Know the Facts. Understand the Truth.” is just cringe-worthy.

Here’s the thing: SpaceX is not Stark Industries, despite the media hype. It’s not some perfect comic-book super-techno-utopia company. It’s just an upstart space launch company willing to take programmatic and technical risks that, so far, ULA has not.

That strategy has been paying off for SpaceX, and it’s got the United Launch Alliance spooked.

The way they should respond is to innovate – make better and cheaper launch products, and let the market decide which rockets are best. After all, they’re starting with a pretty impressive home-team advantage, as their “scorecards” show.

Scorecard from ULA, them vs SpaceX

ULA is handing out these highly biased “scorecards”

Instead, they seem to be resorting to the playground tactics of name-calling and shouting “I’m bigger than you!”

This action looks more like a tacit admission that they can’t compete with SpaceX on cost and innovation. That’s a really tone-deaf move. Anyone with a passing familiarity can see the huge apples-to-oranges bait-and-switch comparison ULA is trying to pull off here.

Guys: You’re just making yourselves look bad.

And, desperate.

You can do better. Go build great rockets!