February 19, 2016 Land Rover assisted Sir Richard Branson in unveiling the new SpaceShipTwo, Virgin Galactic’s commercial spacecraft. The global revealing and naming ceremony took place at Virgin’s Mojave Air and Space Port base located in California.
Land Rover’s premium luxurious SUV, the Range Rover Autobiography carried Sir Richard Branson, while towing the new SpaceShipTwo toward the center stage. While Galactic’s stakeholders, VIP guests, Future Astronaut customers and the world’s media watched the debut and naming ceremony. The new spacecraft was officially christened VSS Unity. Stephen Hawking announced the name, VSS Unity via a specially recorded message.
The event was also a celebration of the partnership between Land Rover and Galactic. Land Rover and Virgin Galactic announced their partnership in April 2014, currently a fleet of Land Rover vehicles provide support for the Galactic team at Mojave and Spaceport America in New Mexico. Additionally, the two companies are developing STEM education programs to inspire future generations of engineers.
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 staring role in today’s events as our new SpaceShipTwo, 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 traveling 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.