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.