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Rangey Astronaut: Land Rover designed for true high-flyers

  • Range Rover reaching for new heights with Astronaut
  • Only for Virgin Galactic Future Astronaut folk
  • Special paint job, special stitching/etching on seats

PRETORIA, South Africa – Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations has launched a special edition Range Rover to be available exclusively to Future Astronauts signed up to fly to space with Virgin Galactic.

”The Astronaut Edition has exterior and interior design elements intended,” Land Rover says, ”to celebrate the once-in-a-lifetime experience and Virgin Galactic’s unique community of Future Astronauts.

”It is another milestone in the ongoing partnership between Land Rover and Virgin Galactic.”


So, what’s different…?

A unique Zero Gravity Blue paint finish inspired, Landy says, by the depth and intensity of the night sky and meant to demonstrate Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations’ state-of-the-art technology and exceptional attention to detail.


”Bespoke” puddle-lamp illumination has a silhouette of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo while unique Astronaut Edition badging features on the tail door and profile finishers.

The cabin has a crafted piece of the front landing skid from the spaceship’s  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, light, braking mechanism, has been re-purposed to form two discs within the cup holders.

READ MORE Land Rover features on Carman’s Corner

One references a quote by Virgin’s boss Richard Branson often made to his fellow Future Astronauts – ”See you up there” – and the other has details of the space flight.

LAND ROVER SPECIAL EDITION FOR ASTRONAUTS: From bird flight to space flight. Image: Land Rover

Once a Future Astronaut has flown to space that person becomes an astronaut and part of the wooden skid from that customer’s flight, inscribed with the specific details of the event.


The units will also have a ‘DNA of Flight’ graphic on the carbon-fibre front console lid and on the leather rear armrest. Solid aluminium metal door releases will be engraved with Virgin Galactic’s own Future Astronaut community constellation pattern ”which represents a global community connected by a love of space”.

The design also appears on the rear of the front head-restraints and the metal letterbox panel above the glove box. Other personalisation options will include stitching the Future Astronaut’s initials on to the head-restraints.

Gerry McGovern, Land Rover’s chief design officer, told The Corner in a media release: “Our vehicles have been part of daily life for the Virgin Galactic team since the launch of the partnership in 2014.


”The Astronaut Edition is another step on this journey and the chance for the Future Astronaut Community to celebrate our two brands’ shared values of pioneering spirit and true sense of adventure.

”This vehicle really will take them ‘Above and Beyond’.”

Stephen Attenborough, chief commercial officer, added: “Land Rover joined Virgin Galactic on its journey into space in 2014, a collaboration underpinned by iconic design, engineering excellence, and desire to push the boundaries of travel.

”The Astronaut Edition has been crafted with that in mind, a meaningful and lasting embodiment of a shared vision. We could not be more excited to be able to offer this unique vehicle to our wonderful, global community of pioneering Future Astronaut customers.”


The Astronaut Edition is based on the luxurious Range Rover Autobiography and available with Land Rover’s P400e plug-in hybrid electric vehicle power train which delivers a combined 297kW and a battery-only range of 48km.

A 416kW, five-litre, V8 supercharged petrol version will also be available.

LAND ROVER SPECIAL EDITION FOR ASTRONAUTS: Virgin’s mastermind Richard Branson (front centre) with some of the guests at the function. Image: Land Rover

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