aerospace

wikipedia.org

NASA's proposal to lease out an unused shuttle launch pad has ignited a bitter battle between two billionaires -- PayPal's Elon Musk and Amazon's Jeff Bezos -- as congressional members weigh in and the Government Accountability Office investigates.

Funding to maintain launch pad 39A ran out September 30, and NASA wants to lease out the pad to a commercial space company before it deteriorates in the Space Coast's salty air.

Musk's SpaceX and Bezos' Blue Origin both submitted bids. SpaceX wants exclusive use of 39A, but Blue Origin wants the pad for multiple users.

Japan Airlines is buying $9.5 billion worth of new jetliners from Airbus, placing its first-ever order with the European plane-maker for 31 A350s to replace the carrier's aging fleet of Boeing 777s.

The airline's president, Yoshiharu Ueki, said the order was unrelated to Boeing's problems with the 787, but the huge order is seen as a major coup for the Toulouse, France-based manufacturer at the expense of its American rival.