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Tow the stars


The Landy gets involved in a heavenly mission

WE’VE LIVED through the electronic revolution, the rise of microtechnology, the dawn of the internet, and now, the beginning of mankind’s first commercial space flights. Frankly, I can’t get over it. What a time to be alive!

Surely, you must have heard about Virgin Galactic founder and billionaire Richard Branson’s fairly recent flight to the bounds of outer space. He, alongside three other crewmates and two pilots, took off from Virgin Galactic’s Spaceport America in New Mexico in the United States, and shot up 90 kilometers (approximately 295,000 feet) through the sky to achieve weightlessness in that blurry area between the earth’s atmosphere and outer space. The mission was aboard the sub-orbital vehicle “Unity” and took a total of 90 minutes to complete.

It was the company’s fourth space flight to carry a full crew. Richard Branson decided to join this one because he said he wanted to evaluate the experience before they actually started boarding customers by sometime next year.

But did you know that Land Rover has been a long-time supporter of Virgin Galactic’s journey to realizing commercial space flights? As a matter of fact, Land Rovers have been towing Virgin Galactic space vehicles — transporting their astronauts around the field, and in many other ways supporting their day-to-day operations — since 2014.

Having said that, Richard Branson arrived in the very special Range Rover Astronaut Edition (which was first unveiled by Jaguar Land Rover’s Chief Creative officer, Prof. Gerry McGovern, together with Branson back in 2019), prior to boarding the “Unity 22” for their highly publicized mission. And upon their safe return, their spacecraft was towed back by an ever-dependable Land Rover defender 110.

Moreover, when Virgin Galactic starts boarding their 600 lined-up, paying customers beginning next year, these explorers will likewise all be transported to the spacecraft in Land Rover vehicles.

“It was completely fitting that these capable luxurious and iconic vehicles played a central part in this historic event,” shared Virgin Galactic’s Chief Customer Officer Stephen Attenborough. He added, “As we look ahead to the start of a full commercial service, we couldn’t be more delighted to know that Land Rover will be going above and beyond, as together we open space to change the world for good.”

The very special Range Rover Astronaut Edition was created by Land Rover SV Bespoke and is offered exclusively to Virgin Galactic’s “future astronaut” customers.

In the Philippines, Coventry Motors Corp. President Chris Ward shared his thoughts regarding the Virgin Galactic partnership: “Land Rover’s significant participation in this revolutionary event is such a remarkable move for the brand! For years, the brand has worked on evolving on its research and technology, partnering with brands and efforts that would challenge its passion for adventure and technological advancement. In line with its global plan, “Reimagine,” Land Rover only proves to fulfill its promise to explore and conquer challenges not most are willing to take.”