Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations has launched a special edition Range Rover which will be available exclusively to Future Astronauts signed up to fly to space with Virgin Galactic.
The Astronaut Edition, according to a statement by the automaker, features distinctive exterior and interior design elements celebrating this once in a lifetime experience and Virgin Galactic’s unique community of Future Astronauts. It marks another important milestone in the ongoing partnership between Land Rover and Virgin Galactic, which has been an authentic collaboration since the start.
A unique Zero Gravity Blue paint finish inspired by the depth and intensity of the night sky demonstrates Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations’ state-of-the-art technologies and exceptional attention to detail. A bespoke puddle lamp illumination design features the silhouette of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo while unique Astronaut Edition badging features on the tailgate and side profile finishers.
Inside, the Astronaut Edition features a crafted piece of the spaceship’s front landing skid that flew on Virgin Spaceship Unity’s first space flight in December 2018. Part of that skid, which provides the spaceship with a highly effective, lightweight braking mechanism, has been re-purposed to form two discs within the cup holders. One of these references a quote which Richard Branson often makes to his fellow Future Astronauts – ‘See you up there’ -and the other features the details of the space flight.
Once a Future Astronaut has flown to space, and becomes an astronaut, this will be swapped out with part of the wooden skid from that customer’s own spaceflight, personally inscribed with the specific details of a life changing experience.
Further bespoke features include a ‘DNA of Flight’ graphic on the carbon fibre front console drawer lid and this motif is also debossed onto the leather rear armrest. Solid aluminium metal door handles are engraved with Virgin Galactic’s own Future Astronaut community constellation pattern which represents a global community connected by a love of space. This design also features on the rear of the front headrests and metal letterbox panel design above the glovebox. Additional personalisation options include stitching the Future Astronaut’s initials onto the headrests.
Gerry McGovern, Chief Design Officer, Land Rover, said: “Land Rover vehicles have been part of daily life for the Virgin Galactic team since the launch of the partnership in 2014. The Astronaut Edition Range Rover is the next step on this journey and the chance for the Future Astronaut Community to celebrate our two brands’ shared values of pioneering spirit and true sense of adventure. This vehicle really will take them Above and Beyond.”
Stephen Attenborough, Chief Commercial Officer said: “Land Rover joined Virgin Galactic on its journey to space in 2014 and from the start, the collaboration has been underpinned by iconic design, engineering excellence and desire to push the boundaries of travel for the next generation. The Astronaut Edition has been crafted with that in mind, a meaningful and lasting embodiment of a shared vision. We could not be more excited to be able to offer this unique vehicle to our wonderful, global community of pioneering Future Astronaut customers.”
The Astronaut Edition is based on the luxurious Range Rover Autobiography, where comfort and refinement meet peerless all-terrain capability. In line with both brands’ commitment to a sustainable future, the Astronaut Edition is available with Land Rover’s P400e plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) powertrain, which delivers a combined 297kW, EV range of 48km and CO2 emissions of 72g/km – subject to market availability. A high-performance 5.0-litre V8 supercharged petrol with 416kWis also offered.