Only astronauts are allowed to own this Range Rover.
Since 2014, Land Rover has partnered with Virgin Galactic to support the world's first commercial space flight service. Now, Land Rover has announced this agreement has been extended by three years until at least 2024, resulting in a ten-year partnership. The announcement was made during the unveiling of Virgin Galactic's latest VSS Imagine spaceship. As part of the ongoing partnership, Land Rover will continue to supply vehicles to tow the spaceships out of hangers, carry equipment, clear runways before takeoff, and transport passengers to their flight.
Land Rover also supported Virgin Galactic's relocation from Mojave, California, to New Mexico, where the world's first purpose-built commercials spaceport is located.
During the VSS Imagine's unveiling, a Range Rover Astronaut Edition was used to tow the spaceship out of the hanger for the first time. Based on the Range Rover Autobiography, the Astronaut Edition is finished in Zero Gravity blue paint inspired by the night sky and features special badging on the tailgate and cupholders made from the spaceship's front landing skid. As standard, the Astronaut Edition is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder plug-in hybrid producing 398 hp and 472 lb-ft of torque. If that's not enough power for you, it's also available with a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 rated at 518 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque.
You have to be an astronaut to own one, however, because the Range Rover Astronaut Edition is only available to customers who have signed up to fly into space with Virgin Galactic.
Virgin Galactic signed up around 600 future astronauts for the commercial spaceflight service. Ground testing and test flights for VSS Imagine will start this summer in New Mexico. After this, Sir Richard Branson plans to fly into space later in 2021.
"Land Rover vehicles provide invaluable support on the ground in Mojave and at Spaceport America in New Mexico. It is also fabulous to see our Future Astronauts around the world enjoying the unique Range Rover Astronaut Edition," said Michael Colglazier, CEO of Virgin Galactic. "We are delighted to be able to extend this strong partnership. With a shared pioneering spirit, pursuit of adventure and vision to push the boundaries of travel, this is a natural collaboration between our two companies and one that will take exploration to new heights."