Automotive

Published on May 10th, 2019 | by Subhash Nair

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Range Rover Astronaut Edition For Virgin Galactic Customers

We’re living in a really strange, but wonderful age aren’t we. Space tourism is just around the corner, with Elon Musk and Richard Branson both looking to provide relatively affordable means for folk to fly out of the Earth’s atmosphere. But how can you get your friends to NOTICE that you’ve been to space?

That’s basically what this new edition of the Range Rover is meant to address. Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) team worked together with Virgin Galactic to create this; the Range Rover Astronaut Edition.

Only those who have signed up to fly to space with Virgin Galactic are allowed to purchase one. But what exactly is so special about this particular vehicle?

Well, they haven’t strapped a jet engine to it, that’s for sure. In fact, the changes are all aesthetic.

Zero Gravity Blue Paint Finish meant to evoke the depth and intensity of the night sky.

A puddle lamp illumination with the silhouette of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo. You also get a few ‘Astronaut Edition’ badges on the rear and sides.

What’s interesting is the interior. There’s a piece of the Virgin Spaceship Unity’s front landing skid that’s been integrated into the cup holders. One piece reads “See you up there”, a quote often repeated by Sir Richard Branson to his customer-astronauts.

The other piece features the details of that space flight. Upon the customer’s own return, these pieces can be replaced with the front landing skid from the spaceship they themselves take. The flight information from their own journey will be put in place too.

Besides that, SVO have imprinted a few cool graphics around the car. They call these graphics the ‘DNA of Flight’. You’ll find them on the console drawer lid, with a variation of the motif on the rear armrest too.

Virgin Galactic’s own Future Astronaut community constellation pattern is engraved on the aluminium door handles. You can even get your initials stitched onto the headrests.

For more on this story, check out the press release below.

Press Release:

Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations has launched a special edition Range Rover which will be available exclusively to Future Astronauts signed up to fly to space with Virgin Galactic.

The Astronaut Edition features distinctive exterior and interior design elements celebrating this once in a lifetime experience and Virgin Galactic’s unique community of Future Astronauts. It marks another important milestone in the ongoing partnership between Land Rover and Virgin Galactic, which has been an authentic collaboration since the start.

A unique Zero Gravity Blue paint finish inspired by the depth and intensity of the night sky demonstrates Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations’ state-of-the-art technologies and exceptional attention to detail. A bespoke puddle lamp illumination design features the silhouette of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo while unique Astronaut Edition badging features on the tailgate and side profile finishers.

Inside, the Astronaut Edition features a crafted piece of the spaceship’s front landing skid that flew on Virgin Spaceship Unity’s first space flight in December 2018. Part of that skid, which provides the spaceship with a highly effective, lightweight braking mechanism, has been re-purposed to form two discs within the cup holders. One of these references a quote which Richard Branson often makes to his fellow Future Astronauts – ‘See you up there’ -and the other features the details of the space flight. Once a Future Astronaut has flown to space, and becomes an astronaut, this will be swapped out with part of the wooden skid from that customer’s own spaceflight, personally inscribed with the specific details of a life changing experience.

Further bespoke features include a ‘DNA of Flight’ graphic on the carbon fibre front console drawer lid and this motif is also debossed onto the leather rear armrest. Solid aluminium metal door handles are engraved with Virgin Galactic’s own Future Astronaut community constellation pattern which represents a global community connected by a love of space. This design also features on the rear of the front headrests and metal letterbox panel design above the glovebox. Additional personalisation options include stitching the Future Astronaut’s initials onto the headrests.

The Astronaut Edition is based on the luxurious Range Rover Autobiography, where comfort and refinement meet peerless all-terrain capability. In line with both brands’ commitment to a sustainable future, the Astronaut Edition is available with Land Rover’s P400e plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) powertrain, which delivers a combined 404PS, EV range of 42km and CO2 emissions of 72g/km – subject to market availability. A high-performance 5.0-litre V8 P525 supercharged petrol is also offered.


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