Range Rover Just Launched An Exclusive Car For The First Passengers on Virgin Galactic
The definition of an astronaut as we know it right now is set to change very soon. We still see them as scientific trail-blazers – the men and women prepared to risk it all to brave the final frontier still known to man.
Soon though, if Virgin mogul Richard Branson has his way, the term will also stretch to those rich enough to afford a ticket on one of his space-faring Virgin Galactic flights. A loose definition, we'd argue, but hey.
If you're brave/financially reckless enough to pay upwards of $175,000 to be the first to set foot on a ship aiming to punch a hole in the atmosphere, you deserve some kind of title.
Whatever you think the first space tourists should rightly be called, it hasn't stopped iconic luxury SUV marque Range Rover from honouring Virgin Galactic's passengers with a car to call entirely their own.
Crafted by JLR’s Special Vehicle Operations division, their latest offering, the ‘Astronaut Edition’ Range Rover, has been designed and put together exclusively for those people currently in Virgin Galactic's Future Astronauts programme, which we're sure we don't need to tell you is preparing the first spaceflight passengers for their voyage.
The Range Rover, which comes with the option of either the Rangie's classic V8 or a 2.0L hybrid, gets a number of not-so-subtle design upgrades to distinguish it from its land-lubbing compatriots. First, the paintwork: a metallic navy finish that Range Rover have dubbed 'Zero-Gravity Blue'.
It also has puddle lamps that show the silhouette of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo, and a ton of badges throughout signifying that this car is very, very firmly paired up with its astronaut owner.
Perhaps the best bit of spaceship memorabilia in the car however is a piece of carbon fibre trim on the dashboard. Engraved with a motif showing the evolution of flying vehicles over the last century, it's fashioned from the carbon-fibre front landing skid of Virgin's VSS Unity VP-03. A particularly important spaceplane, it was the first Virgin Galactic Flight to reach what NASA officially deems as 'Outer Space' during a test flight in December 2018.
Justin Bieber and Leo DiCaprio are two members of the 700-strong club right now eligible to buy this car. A side note: membership doesn't come with the Range Rover – just the exclusive access to buy one. Value for money, right?