Land Rover Extends Global Partnership With Virgin Galactic
Earlier this year, Land Rover revealed a three-year extension to their global partnership with Virgin Galactic, the world’s first commercial ‘spaceline’.
Virgin Galactic’s latest spaceship was recently unveiled, supported by a Range Rover Astronaut Edition.
Land Rover was part of the mission as Virgin Galactic completed its first ever fully crewed space flight, with founder Sir Richard Branson on board as one of four Mission Specialists.
The SpaceShipTwo Unity craft travelled with four Mission Specialists and two pilots on board. The six-strong crew started and completed their mission at Spaceport America in New Mexico. Sir Richard arrived for the ‘Unity 22’ mission in a Range Rover Astronaut Edition and after a safe landing his spacecraft was towed back to waiting well-wishers by a Land Rover Defender 110.
Land Rover will remain an integrated part of Virgin Galactic’s day-to-day operations as the company completes test flights with ‘SpaceShipTwo’ and begins a regular commercial service.
Land Rover vehicles are part of daily life for the Virgin Galactic team, with roles which include towing the space vehicles, carrying equipment and clearing runways before take-off. They played key roles during the company’s first two spaceflights which saw Virgin Galactic become the first private company to fly humans to space on a spaceship designed for commercial service.
A fleet of Land Rovers also supported Virgin Galactic’s relocation from its manufacturing and test facilities in Mojave, California, to Spaceport America in New Mexico – the world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport.
Virgin Galactic has already signed-up around 600 Future Astronaut customers, who will be transported to their flights from Spaceport America, in Land Rover vehicles.
Back in 2019, Virgin Galactic founder Sir Richard Branson and Jaguar Land Rover Chief Creative Officer Prof Gerry McGovern OBE unveiled the Range Rover Astronaut Edition.
Designed and engineered by Land Rover SV Bespoke and offered exclusively to Virgin Galactic Future Astronauts, these luxury SUVs celebrate the partnership’s shared values and the Future Astronaut community’s historic contribution to the democratisation of space.
Preparing for its next rocket-powered flight in New Mexico, Virgin Galactic has a team of eight highly experienced pilots.
Founder Sir Richard Branson is planning to fly to space later in 2021.
President and CEO of JLR North America, Joe Eberhardt, commented: ‘Accessible space travel for explorers worldwide is the next great big adventure.
‘Land Rover is proud to work alongside the Virgin Galactic team to support all future astronauts as they push the boundaries of personal adventure even further.’
CEO of Virgin Galactic, Michael Colglazier, added: ‘Land Rover vehicles provide invaluable support on the ground in Mojave and at Spaceport America in New Mexico.
‘It is also fabulous to see our Future Astronauts around the world enjoying the unique Range Rover Astronaut Edition.
‘We are delighted to be able to extend this strong partnership. With a shared pioneering spirit, pursuit of adventure and vision to push the boundaries of travel, this is a natural collaboration between our two companies and one that will take exploration to new heights.’
Here at Vertu Land Rover, we’re always excited over the future of the Land Rover brand.
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