Toyota Tundra Tows Space Shuttle Endeavor & Raises Money for Museum

Can a truck rated for 10,000 lbs. really pull 300,000?

The retired space shuttle Endeavor is going to live the rest of its days at the California Science Center and after a dramatic final flight around Southern California on the back of a Boeing 747, the shuttle is slowly being pulled across Los Angeles. For two legs of the journey, a Toyota Tundra pickup will be pulling the 300,000 lb. shuttle. Toyota's U.S. headquarters are in Torrance, California, just miles from the California Science Center and since the ealy-1990s, the philanthropic automaker has donated over $8 to $10 million dollars to the museum and research center. Now, Twitter users can help the museum during the shuttle's trip across Los Angeles by sending out a tweet using the hashtag #TundraEndeavor. Toyota will donate $50 for every tweet with that hashtag. The automaker is also said to be donating north of seven figures to the expansion of the museum that will house the shuttle and the relatively little truck that towed it.

Remarkably, the Toyota Tundra being used to tow the shuttle is a stock 5.7 liter V-8 truck – rated to tow a maximum of 10,000 lbs. After extensive testing of the truck with concrete blocks and dollies totalling over 300,000 lbs, it was decided that the San Antonio, Texas built truck was completely capable of pulling the shuttle over the Manchester bridge at the 405 Freeway and for the last 1/4 mile to the museum. The shuttle will be carried by a specialized robotic transporter for the rest of the 12-mile trek but because the transporter is not approved to pull the shuttle across bridges, clever Toyota volunteered to do the job, which will likely result in a television commercial.

You can see the whole story on Toyota's website.