The space shuttle Endeavour will soon be permanently displayed in the California Science Center. Taking on the honor of towing the Endeavour on its last trip ever on Oct. 13 is the Toyota Tundra full-size pickup truck. From Los Angeles International Airport, the Endeavour will travel for 12 miles on city streets to the Science Center, with the Tundra towing it for the last quarter mile.
The 2012 Tundra has been tested and is expected to safely tow the 300,000 pound historic artifact down Bill Robertson Lane in Exposition Park, near downtown Los Angeles. A stock 2012 Tundra CrewMax 1/2–ton pickup (the same as the models that could be found in Toyota dealerships) will tow the Endeavour.
Remarkably, it won’t receive any modification to boost towing capacity or increase its power. Toyota’s 5.7L V8 engine is used on the Tundra CrewMax, delivering a maximum tow capacity of 10,000 pounds. The testing was done with the assistance of The Sarens Group, a heavy lifting and engineered transport company, to make a dolly specifically intended to haul the Endeavour.
TMS and the Science Center have come together to take part in the shuttle’s transportation. This is part of a plan to boost support and to make more people learn about the space program. Toyota presently has a Tundra truck that will be seen in a Science Center exhibit to show off the physics of leverage. The tow Tundra is the replacement for the current Tundra and this will be displayed here until the Oct. 30.