Land Rover’s Virgin Galactic partnership is out of this world

Virgin Galactic is owned by Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group and is set to become the world’s first commercial spaceline. The company is planning to offer its customers suborbital space flight and, further in the future, orbital human spaceflights in addition.

The collaboration between Land Rover and Virgin Galactic was confirmed during a spectacular display hosted at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York. Here Land Rover displayed the new Discovery Vision, its latest SUV concept.

The Discovery Vision is also appearing at this week’s New York Auto Show. The concept previews the new distinct design language from Land Rover and an array of world-first technologies for cars.

Highlights of the Discovery Vision include the use of augmented reality technology to display a ‘see-through’ view of the terrain ahead. This makes the front of the car ‘virtually’ invisible from inside the cabin.

Another intriguing feature onboard is Gesture Control, which allows you to open the doors, operate the indicators or turn on the headlamps simply by moving your hand.

For the announcement of the new partnership, Land Rover also brought to the museum a full-size replica of SpaceShipTwo VSS Enterprise, one of the crafts set to be used by Virgin Atlantic.

As part of the new partnership, Land Rover vehicles will become part of daily life for the Virgin Galactic team and for all ‘Future Astronauts’.

The space experience will now begin with Land Rover as they arrive in New Mexico for training, and continue to the moment they drive from the space terminal building to the waiting spaceship.

Land Rover will base a fleet of vehicles at the Virgin Galactic test centre in the Mojave Desert, California and at its astounding operational New Mexico base, Spaceport America.

The Group Marketing Director of Jaguar Land Rover, Phil Popham, said: “This is a marriage of two of Britain’s most iconic brands which celebrate shared values, a pioneering spirit and a true sense of adventure. Not only do we both share the same long-term vision to enable mankind to explore, but we also want to develop this partnership to inspire others."

The founder of Virgin Galactic, Sir Richard Branson, commented: “We couldn’t be more delighted to have Land Rover join us on our incredible journey. It is hard to think of a brand which is more synonymous with exploration and adventure."