Earlier last month, Toyota Motors had stated that their pick up truck, 2012 Tundra will be towing the Space Shuttle Endeavour, once it arrives at the Los Angeles International Airport. Earlier today, as per plan, the 292,500 lbs (132,675 kgs) space shuttle arrived at the LAX, piggyback on a NASA optimized Boeing 747 jet. From here, the Toyota Tundra took over.
Powered by a 5.7L V8 generating 381 hp and 401 lb/ft torque, the Tundra pickup was seen in action for the 12 mile stretch between LAX and California Science Center, which is where the amazing journey of Space Shuttle Endeavour finally ends.
The Tundra that pulled the Endeavour earlier today, is no special, it is the same one that is available at a dealership. Space Shuttle Endeavour has spent 299 days in the space over a period of 20 years during which it has successfully completed 25 missions.
For more information, scroll down.
Time Lapse: Shuttle Endeavour Traverses Los Angeles[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIRfTAq21ek[/youtube]
Pulling the Endeavour
Space Shuttle Crosses 405 Freeway Towed by a Toyota Tundra[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIuoITPnroM[/youtube]
Space Shuttle Endeavour – And the Toyota Tundra[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGlqLlIUIoM[/youtube]
Space shuttle Endeavour crossing I405 bridge on Manchester Blvd. Part2[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J84dBkMwlkA[/youtube]
Endeavour Towed over 405 Freeway by a Toyota Tundra[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3weSO1I5hrE[/youtube]
NASA space shuttle Endeavour being prepped to be towed by this Toyota Tundra[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4NauRUNoTE4[/youtube]
Toyota Presents: The Tundra Endeavour – The Challenge
Space Shuttle Endeavor Landing + Fighter Takeoff – EFD[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3OqF9EfPWM[/youtube]
Auto News Release
Toyota Tundra Makes History Towing Space Icon
American-made Truck Successfully Assists Transport of Endeavour Space Shuttle Across Manchester Bridge
LOS ANGELES (Oct. 13, 2012) – A Toyota Tundra half-ton pickup truck without any special modifications successfully towed the 150,000 pound space shuttle Endeavour across a bridge spanning the nation’s busiest freeway on Friday night, Oct. 12. The tow was a result of a 20-year partnership between Toyota and the California Science Center to raise awareness of the space program and continue public education through exhibits and events.
The shuttle’s 12-mile route over city streets to its new home at the California Science Center includes one passage over the 405 Freeway. The Tundra assisted in the transport of the Endeavour as it journeyed over the Manchester Boulevard Bridge—an area that required a lighter tow mechanism than other portions of the route for weight distribution purposes. Toyota did extensive testing and worked with the Sarens Group, a heavy lifting and engineering transport company, to develop a dolly to move the Endeavour over the bridge.
“We’ve partnered with the California Science Center since the early ’90s as part of our ongoing commitment to inspiring youth in the fields of engineering, innovation and future technology, and we are honored to lend our support for this historic event,” said Michael Rouse, vice president of community affairs and philanthropy for Toyota.
The model selected was a stock 2012 Tundra CrewMax 4×4 with Toyota’s 5.7-liter iForce V8, producing 381 horsepower. All Tundra trucks are produced exclusively at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Texas in San Antonio. The truck used to tow the Endeavour was purchased from a Southern California Toyota dealer, with no modifications or special equipment added for the tow.
The Tundra was piloted by longtime Toyota professional driver Matt McBride. Riding along was Garrett Reisman, one of the astronauts aboard the orbiter when it traveled to the International Space Station in 2008. From start to finish, it took 5 minutes to cross the bridge.
“I’m honored to be part of the space shuttle Endeavour’s final mission to the California Science Center,” said Garrett Reisman, an engineer and former NASA astronaut. “I appreciate Toyota’s support in helping bring this space icon home to the Southern California community.”
The Science Center has a popular working exhibit utilizing a Tundra that demonstrates the physics of leverage. The Tundra used to tow the shuttle will replace the existing truck when the Endeavour exhibit opens on Oct. 30, 2012.
For more information on the Tundra Endeavour, please visit www.toyota.com/tundraendeavour.