Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo was towed out by Range Rover Autobiography at the launch

Article by Andrew Christian, on February 23, 2016

In a showcase of British heritage and pioneering efforts in their respective industries, a Range Rover Autobiography from Land Rover was prominently featured in the global reveal and naming ceremony for Virgin Galactic’s newest spaceship, the SpaceShipTwo.

The new SpaceShipTwo, officially christened VSS Unity in the ceremony, is the latest spacecraft for the British firm Virgin Galactic, one of the pioneers in civilian space exploration. Seen towing the VSS Unity during the ceremony is the Autobiography, the impressive top-of-the-line SUV offering from pioneering British car manufacturer Land Rover.

According to Stephen Attenborough, Commercial Director at Virgin Galactic, the partnership between the two world-famous companies began in 2014 and highlights the spirit of adventure that both companies seem to cultivate with their uncompromising efforts to deliver innovative technology to their customers. Attenborough added that both companies plan to collaborate in the future in terms of product initiatives, design and engineering as well as collaborations in STEM programs.

Currently, a fleet of Land Rover vehicles provide support for Virgin Galactic personnel in its base in the Mojave. Aside from numerous media representatives and Virgin future astronauts, the unveiling and naming ceremony was also attended by Sir Richard Branson, Virgin group founder while eminent British physicist Stephen Hawking announced the name of VSS Unity through a recorded announcement.

Mark Cameron, Land Rover Global Brand Experience Director, explained that the event is a significant milestone for their partner Virgin Galactic. Aside from displaying the Autobiography’s towing prowess, Land Rover’s presence shows their support for partner Virgin Galactic, not only as a provider of its impressive fleet of SUVs but also as partners sharing the same drive to excel in technology and cutting edge design.

Cameron said that the partnership hopes to motivate the younger generation to pursue careers in engineering, science and technology. Virgin Galactic and Land Rover run STEM education programs aimed to inspire your people towards the fields of mathematics, engineering, science and technology.

Range Rover Autobiography is the pinnacle of Land Rover design, capability and luxury. What is even more astounding is the fact that 2015 would be its 21st anniversary, but it still remains as a benchmark for the premium SUV segment.

Press Release

RANGE ROVER HELPS UNVEIL NEW VIRGIN GALACTIC SPACESHIPTWO AT GLOBAL REVEAL AND NAMING CEREMONY

Land Rover today helped Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson unveil Virgin Galactic's new SpaceShipTwo at a special reveal and naming ceremony at their Mojave Air and Space Port base in California, USA.

A Range Rover Autobiography took center stage at the global reveal, towing1 out the new SpaceShipTwo - officially christened VSS Unity - in front of the world's media, special guests and a group of Virgin Galactic's 'Future Astronauts.'

Guests at the unveiling ceremony including Virgin Galactic's stakeholders, VIP guests and Future Astronaut customers, watched on as Sir Richard arrived in the Range Rover and the new SpaceShipTwo made its global debut. The event also marked the special official naming moment of the new SpaceShipTwo, with Stephen Hawking announcing the name VSS Unity via a specially recorded message.

Announced in April 2014, the tow-out1 of VSS Unity by a Range Rover Autobiography marks the latest milestone in the partnership between the two pioneering brands; a partnership based around a strong British heritage and a true spirit of adventure, but underpinned by a desire to push the boundaries of technical innovation.

A fleet of Land Rover vehicles currently provides valuable support for the Virgin Galactic team at its base in Mojave and will be an important part of its commercial operations for future astronauts at Spaceport America in New Mexico

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 Autobiography took a starring role in today's events as our new SpaceShipTwo, VSS Unity, made its global debut. We're looking forward to more collaborations across the business, including STEM programs 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 program, but it was also an impressive display of the Range Rover's towing capability. But 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. Not simply to enable mankind to explore, but to develop this partnership to inspire others."

"From our tens of thousands of employees and customers to schools and colleges, motivating more young people to pursue careers in engineering, science and technology - and explore new ways of travelling for future generations. This is a very special match of brands based around a shared vision."

Both Land Rover and Virgin Galactic run significant and highly regarded community relations and STEM education programs, which encourage young people to aspire to a future in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

2015 marked the 21st anniversary of the Range Rover Autobiography. Across two decades Autobiography has denoted the ultimate combination of Land Rover design, capability and luxury, adapting with changing customer tastes and preferences to remain a benchmark in the premium SUV market.

1Professional driver on a closed course. Do not attempt. The Range Rover Autobiography has permissible maximum towable mass of 7,716 lbs. (3,500 kg.) when properly equipped. Please consult the owner's manual or your local authorized Land Rover Retailer for more details.

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