Land Rover cements its long-term relationship with Virgin Galactic as space tourism moves a step closer.
Professor Stephen Hawking takes centre stage
Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo that looks set to start the era of space tourism has been revealed to the world having been towed on stage by a Range Rover Autobiography, in California. The VSS Unity emerged in front of company stake holders, the media and potential astronauts who heard a recorded message from Prof. Stephen Hawking.
The physicist confirmed the vessel's name and explained: “I would be very proud to fly on this spaceship.” He added: “Space exploration has already been a great unifier – we seem able to cooperate between nations in space in a way we can only envy on Earth”.
Richard Branson waves to crowd from Range Rover
Virgin's Richard Branson emerged from the sunroof of the Range Rover to wave at the crowd. He said later: “Together, we can make space accessible in a way that has only been dreamt of before now, and by doing so can bring positive change to life on Earth.”
The charismatic entrepreneur added: “Our beautiful new spaceship, VSS Unity, is the embodiment of that goal and will provide us with an unprecedented body of experience which will, in turn, lay the foundations for Virgin Galactic’s future.”
“Her creation is also great testament to what can be achieved when true teamwork, great skill and deep pride are combined with a common purpose.”
Land Rover supports Virgin Galactic
The Range Rover Autobiography's efforts mark: “The latest milestone in the partnership between the two pioneering brands”, the car maker said. The Virgin Galactic team is supported by a fleet of vehicles at its base in Mojave - and both brands contribute to education programmes that inspire the next generation of engineers.
Mark Cameron, Lanr Rover Global Brand Experience Director, said: “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”.
He continued: “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.”
Motor manufacturer “integral” part of the team
Stephen Attenborough, Virgin Galactic Commercial Director, 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.
He continued: “Therefore, it was fitting that the Range Rover Autobiography took a staring role in today’s events as our new SpaceShipTwo, VSS Unity, made its global début”.