Is Richard Branson abandoning Virgin Galactic?

That’ not OUR speculation, that’s from the folks at the prominent investing site Motley Fool. According to the article, speculation is driven in part because Branson revealed in a CNBC interview that he’s planning to hitch a ride on a craft operated by Virgin Galactic’s rival, SpaceX.

That’s like the President of Ford announcing to the press that he’s just purchased a Chevy pick up.

The Fool article goes on to note that “his related entity Virgin Investments remains a major company shareholder, it’s sold off a much larger stake in a series of divestments.”

The Rio Grande Foundation has been a prominent critic of the taxpayer-funded Spaceport America at which Virgin Galactic is the primary tenant. And, while Branson DID launch with a crew out of the Spaceport last summer, there have been zero paying customers launched out of Spaceport America which has been open for over a decade.

Losing Branson’s involvement or loyalty is by no means a death blow to Virgin Galactic’s hopes to get viable space tourism flights going at Spaceport America, but it can’t help and it isn’t a vote of confidence in the company or its technology.

Spaceport America - Virgin Galactic