Land Rover Announces Global Partnership With Virgin Galactic
Land Rover, the British brand synonymous with adventure, has revealed a long-term global partnership with Richard Branson's pioneering commercial spaceline, Virgin Galactic.
Demonstrating their shared vision of pioneering spirit, technological innovation and sense of adventure, the ground breaking partnership was announced against the backdrop of SpaceShipTwo, the world's first commercial passenger carrying spacecraft, together with Land Rover's new Discovery Vision Concept vehicle. The announcement illustrates the commitment that both brands share to iconic design and engineering excellence and a desire to push the boundaries of travel for the next generation.
The partnership will see Land Rover vehicles 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 exciting announcement was revealed in dramatic fashion on board the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, a former aircraft carrier anchored on the Hudson River. Land Rover's first act as exclusive partner was to bring a unique full-size replica of SpaceShipTwo VSS Enterprise to New York, where it joined the remarkable British Airways Concorde and its namesake Space Shuttle Enterprise upon the Intrepid. Like the Space Shuttle, SpaceShipTwo is the first of a revolutionary fleet of reusable human spacecraft. Having the vehicles in one place for the first time provided a powerful symbol of human ingenuity and the adventurous spirit of exploration and discovery.
Revealed alongside SpaceShipTwo was Land Rover's Discovery Vision Concept, a vision of Land Rover's future family of Discovery vehicles. The concept car previews dynamic new design language and an array of world first technologies. Building on Land Rover's
renowned all-terrain capability, the Discovery Vision Concept represents the ultimate SUV of the future.
The vehicle uses augmented reality technology to display a 'see-through' view of the terrain ahead, making the front of the car 'virtually' invisible from inside the cabin. Gesture Control allows you to open the doors, operate the indicators or turn on the headlamps simply by moving your hand, while Laser Referencing projects visible markings, symbols and imagery onto the ground to aid low speed or tricky manoeuvres.
More than 200 VIP guests witnessed the two game-changing vehicles, which were revealed against a stunning Manhattan background and an awe-inspiring projection mapping sequence.
Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Galactic said "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. The safety and engineering excellence of Land Rover's vehicles, which have been the stuff of legend for more than 65 years, are attributes which also lie at the heart of Virgin Galactic. We look forward to crossing the final frontier together and to a long and fruitful partnership."
Phil Popham, Group Marketing Director of Jaguar Land Rover said "This is a marriage of two of Britain's most iconic brands who 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. From our tens of thousands of employees and customers to schools and colleges, motivating more young people to pursue careers in engineering, science, technology and math - and explore new ways of travelling for future generations.
Land Rover's heart beats 'above and beyond' - we are pioneers on land and Virgin Galactic is the pioneer of space. It's a very special match of brands with a shared vision."
Both brands run significant and highly regarded community relations and STEM education programmes, which encourage young people to aspire to a future in science, technology, engineering and mathematics and together see the huge potential to develop this partnership to inspire others and motivate more young people to pursue careers in these vitally important fields.
Courtesy of Land Rover, SpaceShipTwo, will remain on display at Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum for the public to view from 15th to the 22nd April. It will sit alongside other game changing artefacts including the first ever space shuttle Enterprise, the prototype NASA orbiter that paved the way for the space shuttle programme and the record-breaking and revolutionary supersonic passenger airliner, the Concorde.
The Discovery Vision Concept will be on display at the New York Auto Show, which opens on Wednesday 16th March.
Follow the excitement as the story continues to unfold on Land Rover's Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages and join the conversation using #ReadyToDiscover.
Notes to Editors:
DISCOVERY VISION CONCEPT
The Discovery Vision Concept is a bold vision of the SUV of the future. The iconic Land Rover Discovery is poised to transition from a single model to a new family of vehicles designed to meet every need of the customers of tomorrow. The pioneering spirit at the core of Discovery for the last 25 years continues with Land Rover's bold new vision for the new age of Discovery: smarter, more connected, more desirable and more capable than ever.
Owned by Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group and aabar Investments PJS, Virgin Galactic is on track to be the world's first commercial spaceline. To date, the company has accepted over $85 million in deposits from more than 700 individuals, which is approximately 20% more than the total number of people who have ever gone to space. The new spaceship (SpaceShipTwo, VSS Enterprise) and carrier craft (WhiteKnightTwo, VMS Eve) have both been developed for Virgin Galactic's vehicle fleet by Mojave-based Scaled Composites. Founded by Burt Rutan, Scaled developed SpaceShipOne, which in 2004 claimed the $10 million Ansari X Prize as the world's first privately developed manned spacecraft. Virgin Galactic's new vehicles, which will be manufactured by The Spaceship Company in Mojave, Calif., share much of the same basic design, but are being built to carry six customers, or the equivalent scientific research payload, on suborbital space flights. The vehicles will allow an out-of-the-seat, zero-gravity experience with astounding views of the planet from the black sky of space for tourist astronauts and a unique microgravity platform for researchers. The VSS Enterprise and VMS Eve test flight program is well under way, leading to Virgin Galactic commercial operations, which will be based at Spaceport America in New Mexico.