Re: I like Elon.
We have no way of knowing if Musk is throwing a tantrum. It looks from outside like he was trying to get in on the bidding on a project, and got muscled out by a cosy group of cronies who've been ripping the US taxpayer off for years. It may be that he's unable to fulfill certain parts of the contract and therefore has no hope of winning. However, the suspicion is that underhanded things have happened.
Personally I like his tactics. I've no problem with him throwing the odd sueball. Where you have $70 billion contracts you have lawyers. 'Tis unavoidable. If you don't manage to fulrill the contract, then many lawyers will descent upon you with great wrath, evacuate your bank accounts, pillage your villages, and leave you with nothing, in the smoking ruins of your dreams.
In this case, ULA may be in breach of sanctions on Russia. Oops. But they're also massively more expensive than Musk. I seem to recall they've had more NASA money for SLS (which isn't even out of design stage yet) than he's had for his launches to the ISS. In fact, They just love their government pork. Sooooo taaaaasty!
I also like his guerilla marketing approach. In his press conference last week where he complained that he's charing (and making profits!) a quarter what they are - he made some nice comments about how many fighter squadrons and battalions of marines this would pay for. So I supect he's trying to get a bit of a war going on amongst the top brass at the Pentagon. Smart tactics.
Meanwhile, at the same time as fighting for all this lovely government cash, he's also researching like a looney.
His is the first company in history to launch a rocket into space and land the first stage vertically. The 1st private company to achieve orbit. The first man to orbit a giant cheese... They've got a capsule and rocket well on the way to man-rating. So he's extremely likely to replace US manned capability before ULA manage to get their system off the ground.
And he's taken risks, rather than just replicating old tech. So by having his capsule have the rockets on board, he can manage landings on land instead of at sea. This also gives Dragon the capability to escape a launch fire, essential to get a man-rating. And further gives it the ability to land on Mars or the Moon. Plus a re-usable first stage coming real soon now.
How much more could NASA have done with its budget over the years if it had been partnered with companies like SpaceX, rather than getting ripped off by Boeing and Lockheed Martin?