Virgin Galactic and Land Rover have extended their global partnership for another three years. Land Rover will continue to be part of the world’s first commercial spaceline’s day-to-day operations as Virgin Galactic competes test flights with SpaceShipTwo and begins regular commercial service.
Land Rover vehicles tow space vehicles, carry equipment, and clear runways before takeoff. The Land Rovers assisted with Virgin Galactic’s move from test families in Mojave, California to Spaceport America, the world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport.
Land Rover says that the vehicles also “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”.
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.
“Land Rover vehicles provide invaluable support on the ground in Mojave and at Spaceport America in New Mexico,” said Michael Colglazier, Chief Executive Officer, Virgin Galactic. “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.”
The Land Rover Range Rover Astronaut Edition debuted in 2019. It was revealed by Virgin Galactic founder Sir Richard Branson and Jaguar Land Rover Chief Creative Officer Prof Gerry McGovern OBE. The SUV has been created by Land Rover SV Bespoke and offered exclusively to Virgin Galactic Future Astronauts.
Virgin Galactic has a team of eight highly experienced pilots and is preparing for its next rocket-powered flight in New Mexico. Founder Sir Richard Branson is planning to fly to space later in 2021.