nothing
ROVERLOG Menu
Interesting Info About All Things Land Rover
Interesting Info About All Things Land Rover

Land Rover Assists Virgin Galactic and Richard Branson Into Space

  • Greg Fitzgerald
  • Jul 21, 2021
a Defender towing a Virgin Galactic spacecraft

Virgin Galactic sent its first fully-crewed commercial space flight into the air on Sunday July 11th, with Virgin Group founder Richard Branson on board. Land Rovers were a big part of the day, with a Defender 110 hauling VSS Unity back from its landing.

Land Rover and Virgin Galactic’s partnership began in 2014, with the Discovery 5 prototype Discovery Vision Concept launched alongside Virgin’s SpaceShipTwo. Land Rover was Virgin Galactic’s first global partner. Since then, the partnership has grown, and was extended in March 2021.

The astronauts were driven to the spacecraft in the Range Rover Astronaut Edition, which is exclusively available to those who have signed up for Virgin Galactic’s space tourism program. The Rangies are equipped with all sorts of special cues to the space experience, including Zero Gravity Blue paint exclusive to the special edition, puddle lamps with an image of SpaceShipTwo, and images of the Virgin Galactic “DNA of Flight” imagery throughout the vehicle, which shows significant aircraft from Icarus to the Wright Flyer to the Boeing 747 that started Branson’s travel empire with the groundbreaking Virgin Atlantic in 1984. The discs inside the cupholders are made of the landing skid of the first successful flight in December 2018. But the four who flew on this flight will get a special modification to their vehicles: these discs will be replaced with those from their own space flight.

Richard Branson celebrating first space flight

After VSS Unity’s successful flight, the plane was towed back to the hangar by a Defender 110 X, painted in Gondwana Stone – named after the prehistoric continent, and for the more lyrical Land Rover nerds among us, tying prehistory to the future of man in space. The Defender is prominently featured in the images of the Astronauts celebrating their return to earth. A Discovery 5 was on the wing with support crew who assisted with the spacecraft's preparation for deplaning, and five Range Rover Astronaut Editions shuttled the participants to their press conference.

Land Rovers will remain a major part of life at Virgin's Spaceport America in New Mexico and the Mojave Spaceport in California, as the beginning of Virgin's active commercial spaceflight program in 2022 should help this long-time collaboration of British brands grow from strength to strength.

Watch the Land Rovers service the just-landed VSS Unity in the livestream here.

Get the ROVERLOG Newsletter Delivered to your inbox

Sign up and receive once every 2 weeks


  • Written By
  • Greg Fitzgerald
  • Adventure addict. '90s Land Rover daily driver. Historic preservationist. Personal vehicles: 1994 Discovery I, 1994 Range Rover Classic, 1961 Series II 109", 2005 LR3.
Select a Category
Select Vehicle Select Your Vehicle

Reviews from our Customers...

  • FAST Shipping! Call these Folks they have all the answers to your part installation.

    -Bill M. (Boydton,VA)

    Great customer service, very knowledgeable staff. Everyone I have worked with are Land Rover owners- which is a big help for knowing the vehicles.

    You always have the parts I need at a great price and everyone Ive ever spoken to has a great knowledge of all Land Rovers

    -Keith B. (Blue Ridge,VA)

    Professionalism. My sales rep is a rock star, and I value both his technical expertise and his knowledge of your product line.

    -Alan R. (N. Chelmsford,MA)

  • FAST Shipping! Call these Folks they have all the answers to your part installation.

    -Bill M. (Boydton,VA)

    Great customer service, very knowledgeable staff. Everyone I have worked with are Land Rover owners- which is a big help for knowing the vehicles.

    You always have the parts I need at a great price and everyone Ive ever spoken to has a great knowledge of all Land Rovers

    -Keith B. (Blue Ridge,VA)

    Professionalism. My sales rep is a rock star, and I value both his technical expertise and his knowledge of your product line.

    -Alan R. (N. Chelmsford,MA)

  • You always have the parts I need at a great price and everyone Ive ever spoken to has a great knowledge of all Land Rovers

    -Keith B. (Blue Ridge,VA)

  • Professionalism. My sales rep is a rock star, and I value both his technical expertise and his knowledge of your product line.

    -Alan R. (N. Chelmsford,MA)

SIGN UP for Exclusive Offers and Latest Deals

Questions? Call 1-800-533-2210 or Email Your Question

Ask a Question
Notify me when item number is back in stock!