Land Rover’s partnership with Virgin Galactic has reached new heights following the global unveiling of Virgin’s SpaceShipTwo. The craft was revealed at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California, USA, with a Range Rover Autobiography towing the newly-named VVS Unity out in front of the world’s media and special guests.
Sir Richard Branson was on board the Range Rover as it took centre-stage at the event, which also saw Stephen Hawkins announce the new name of the space ship. VSS Unity’s birth comes on the back of a fatal test crash test in 2015 over the Mojave dessert, which claimed the life of co-pilot Michael Alsbury in Virgin’s initial design. Land Rover and Virgin Galactic announced their partnership in April 2014 based on a shared purpose that ‘business can be a force for good’, and the companies have since started developing a number of STEM education programmes to inspire the next generation of engineers. Speaking at the event, 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 took a staring 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.” 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 Autobiography’s towing capability.’ This year marks the 21st anniversary of the Range Rover Autobiography entering at the top of Land Rover’s range spectrum.