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Land Rover was proud to be part of the mission that saw Virgin Galactic complete its first ever fully crewed flight into space, with founder Sir Richard Branson on board as one of four Mission Specialists.
The four Mission Specialists were joined by two pilots in the SpaceShipTwo Unity craft, starting and completing their mission at Spaceport America in New Mexico. Sir Richard arrived for the mission in a Range Rover Astronaut Edition and after returning safely to Earth, his spacecraft was towed back to an excited crowd by the powerful Land Rover Defender 110 X.
Streamed live around the world, audiences saw the team experience weightlessness and breathtaking views of Earth from space, showcasing the extraordinary offering Virgin Galactic will provide to future astronauts. Joe Eberhardt, President & CEO, Jaguar Land Rover North America, said, “This is an incredible technical and human achievement for the Virgin Galactic team as they took personal adventure to thrilling new heights. Land Rover is proud to have supported this exciting mission and we look forward to supporting all the flights into the future.”
LAND ROVER’S CENTRAL ROLE IN AN HISTORIC EVENT
As the world’s first commercial ‘spaceline’, Virgin Galactic has already signed up around 600 Future Astronaut customers, who will be transported to their flights in vehicles supplied by Land Rover. Land Rovers play an important role for the Virgin Galactic team, including towing the space vehicles, carrying equipment and clearing runways before take-off.
Stephen Attenborough, Chief Customer Officer for Virgin Galactic, said: “Land Rover has been by our side, on our side and part of our daily lives at Virgin Galactic since 2014. It was completely fitting that these capable, luxurious and iconic vehicles played a central part in today’s historic events.”
The Range Rover Astronaut Edition was unveiled in 2019 by Virgin Galactic founder Sir Richard Branson and Jaguar Land Rover Chief Creative Officer Prof Gerry McGovern OBE. Offered exclusively to Virgin Galactic Future Astronaut customers, these unique luxury SUVs celebrate the partnership and the Future Astronauts’ historic contribution to the democratisation of space.