Earlier this year, Land Rover assisted Virgin Galactic in the unveiling of the new SpaceShipTwo. A Range Rover Autobiography towed the spaceship to its special global reveal and naming ceremony at the Virgin Galactic Mojave Air and Space Port base in California, USA.
The unveiling ceremony’s guests included the company’s stakeholders, VIP guests, Future Astronaut customers and Sir Richard Branson’s family, with the man himself arriving in the Range Rover that put SpaceShipTwo into position, which was supplied by exclusive automotive partner, Land Rover.
Professor Stephen Hawking announced SpaceShipTwo’s official name, VSS Unity, via a specially recorded speech, adding ‘I would be very proud to fly on this spaceship’. VSS Unity is only the second vehicle of its design ever to be constructed, and it’s the first one to be manufactured by The Spaceship Company, Virgin Galactic’s own manufacturing arm. Its design includes new silver and white livery.
Virgin Galactic and Land Rover, two pioneering brands, share a partnership based on a strong British heritage and a true spirit of adventure, underpinned by an aspiration to push the limits of technical advancements. The Virgin Galactic team based in Mojave is currently supported by a fleet of Land Rover vehicles, which will also play a key role in Branson’s business’ commercial operations for future astronauts in New Mexico at Spaceport America.
Stephen Attenborough, Commercial Director at Virgin Galactic said, ‘Since our partnership began in April 2014, Land Rover has become an integral part of the team’s day to day operating environment in Mojave. Therefore it was fitting that the Range Rover Autobiography took a starring role in today’s events as our new SpaceShipTwo, Unity, made its global debut. We’re looking forward to more collaborations across the business including STEM programmes as well as engineering, design and product initiatives.’
The Range Rover Autobiography marks the height of the model line-up, offering ultimate luxury and refinement. Now in its 22nd year, the Autobiography combines Land Rover style, versatility and comfort, evolving to suit changing customer palates to remain a benchmark in the premium SUV market.
Mark Cameron, Global Brand Experience Director at Land Rover, said: ‘This is a significant milestone for Virgin Galactic, and we are proud to be part of it. Helping the team unveil the new SpaceShipTwo not only reflects our supporting role in the Virgin Galactic programme, but it was also an impressive display of the Range Rover’s towing capability. But we have partnered with Virgin Galactic for many more reasons than simply providing and promoting a fantastic range of SUVs. We share the same long-term vision to invest in innovative design and technology to help us go further and achieve more. Not simply to enable mankind to explore, but to develop this partnership to inspire others. From our tens of thousands of employees and customers to schools and colleges, motivating more young people to pursue careers in engineering, science and technology – and explore new ways of travelling for future generations. This is a very special match of brands based around a shared vision.’