Land Rover Discovery Sport SpaceportLand Rover is to send four competition winners into space with the launch of the Land Rover Galactic Discovery competition in association with Virgin Galactic.

It will be first time any brand has ever offered a competition to win a trip into space.

The online competition to create astronauts will be backed by personalities including Sir Richard Branson, Sir Ranulph Fiennes and Bear Grylls; the winners will be announced in December 2014 after a four-month international competition campaign.

Phil Popham, Jaguar Land Rover Group Marketing Director, said: “Only Land Rover could offer this incredible opportunity: the chance to win the most spectacular group journey of a lifetime.

“Our heritage is rooted in adventure, exploration and a desire to go above and beyond, and nothing embodies this spirit of discovery more than a trip to space.”

How to win a trip to space with Land Rover

To enter the competition, aspiring astronauts first much produce either a 30-second video or a still image that “demonstrates their spirit of adventure”. They also must choose the three friends that’ll potentially join them in space, before submitting the entry via Land Rover’s ‘gotospace’ website.

The firm reckons it’s going to get tens of thousands of entries from the 40 global countries it’s running the competition in.

British adventurer and Land Rover ambassador, Bear Grylls, will help the four competition winners prepare for space. He said: “This prize really is the ultimate adventure of a lifetime.

I’ve stood on top of Mount Everest and looked up at the black above me, thinking ‘there’s only one place higher to go now’. As humans, it is in our DNA to go where people have never been before, and now four friends have the opportunity to do that.”

The Land Rover space competition was launched online alongside the reveal of the new Discovery Sport – which was carried out at the Virgin Galactic Spacesport America in New Mexico. Land Rover is the official vehicle supplier to Virgin Galactic in a deal that was announced at the New York Motor Show back in April 2014.