Land Rover Defender helps Virgin Galactic in its first space flight mission


Land Rover was part of Virgin Galactic's mission to complete its first ever fully crewed space flight, with founder Sir Richard Branson onboard as one of four Mission Specialists.

Virgin Galactic is the first private company to fly humans into space, in a craft designed for commercial service.

The SpaceShipTwo Unity craft traveled with four Mission Specialists and two pilots onboard. The six-strong crew started and completed their mission at Spaceport America in New Mexico.


Sir Richard arrived for the "Unity 22" mission in a Range Rover Astronaut Edition, and after a safe landing, his spacecraft was towed back to waiting well-wishers by a Land Rover Defender 110.

The company’s fourth crewed spaceflight was the first to carry a full crew. Those in the cabin experienced out-of-seat weightlessness and incredible views of Earth from space.

Audiences around the world watched a livestream of the space flight, seeing first-hand the extraordinary experience Virgin Galactic is creating for future astronauts.

Land Rover Defender 110

“Land Rover is proud to have supported this exciting mission, and we look forward to supporting all the flights into the future,” Jaguar Land Rover North America President and CEO Joe Eberhardt said. 

Virgin Galactic is the world’s first commercial "spaceline." It has already signed up around 600 Future Astronaut customers, who will be transported to their flights in vehicles supplied by partner Land Rover.

Land Rovers are part of daily life for the Virgin Galactic team, with roles which include towing the space vehicles, carrying equipment, and clearing runways before take-off. 


Virgin Galactic Chief Customer Officer Stephen Attenborough said, “Land Rover has been by our side, on our side, and part of our daily lives at Virgin Galactic since 2014. It was completely fitting that these capable, luxurious, and iconic vehicles played a central part in today’s historic events.

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.”

Virgin Galactic founder Sir Richard Branson, and Jaguar Land Rover Chief Creative Officer Gerry McGovern unveiled the Range Rover Astronaut Edition in 2019.

Created by Land Rover SV Bespoke and offered exclusively to Virgin Galactic Future Astronaut customers, these luxury SUVs celebrate the partnership’s shared values and the Future Astronaut community’s historic contribution to space.

Photos from Jaguar Land Rover

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