Sir Richard Branson may be a billionaire and all, but he did take quite the risk flying into space on board Virgin Galactic’s ‘Unity 22’ mission. Leaving our atmosphere is still kind of dangerous territory. Judging by Branson’s past endeavors, though—which include driving a tank down 5th Avenue in New York City and jumping off the roof of a Las Vegas casino—the risks probably only encouraged him more.
That said, perhaps you’d expect the hot-shot daredevil billionaire to arrive at his space mission behind the wheel of an exotic supercar tailed by paparazzi a la Tony Stark. Nope.
Branson actually was transported to the Spaceport America launch site by a safe and cozy Range Rover Astronaut Edition. What’s more, he was picked up a Defender 110 following the mission’s safe landing, too.
Jaguar Land Rover is actually a pretty big part of Virgin Galactic’s on-ground operations, with its vehicles responsible for towing space vehicles, transporting equipment, and clearing runways prior to take-off. In a statement, Virgin Galactic chief customer officer Stephen Attenborough expressed his gratitude to the carmaker for its many years of support.
“Land Rover has been by our side, on our side and part of our daily lives at Virgin Galactic since 2014. It was completely fitting that these capable, luxurious and iconic vehicles played a central part in today’s historic events,” he said.
“As we look ahead to the start of a full commercial service, we couldn’t be more delighted to know that Land Rover will be going Above and Beyond, as together we open space to change the world for good.”
Shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, then, if Defenders eventually accompany Sir Richard for a mission to Mars one day—that is, if Elon Musk and a bunch of Teslas don’t beat him there first. Think a Land Rover has a shot at being the first mass-market vehicle to drive on another planet?
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