What happened

Shares of Virgin Galactic (SPCE -13.42%) jumped 5% as of 11:05 a.m. EDT today -- but the reason doesn't seem to have much to do with the space company itself this time.

Instead, it's all about Blue Origin.

Virgin Galactic SpaceShip2 rocketing near vertically.

Image source: Virgin Galactic.

So what

Over at Virgin Galactic's biggest rival in space tourism, bidding on a ticket for the first commercial flight of Blue Origin's New Shepard space rocket is hitting a fever pitch. Blue just tweeted out a reminder that all registrations to participate in its June 12 auction of the ticket must be in by today:

And even before the auction reaches its final stage, the floor bid on this ticket has reached $4 million.

Now what

Why does that matter to Virgin Galactic investors -- especially if its own CEO, Richard Branson, is planning to beat Jeff Bezos into space, and fly on an upcoming Virgin Galactic test flight July 4 weekend? Probably, the answer is as simple as this:

Blue Origin is doing its level best to get people excited about space tourism. If it succeeds (and the $4 million bid price suggests that it is succeeding), that's good news not only for Blue Origin, but for Virgin Galactic stock, too.