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Toyota Tundra Tows Space Shuttle Endeavor

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION
2013 Toyota Tundra

author photo by Jeffrey Archer
  • Toyota Tundra towed Endeavour in Los Angeles.
  • Shuttle weighs 300,000 lb with tow gear.
  • Tundra was an unmodified 2012 CrewMax model.

Space shuttle Endeavour has finally reached its permanent resting place in the California Science Center thanks in part to Toyota's full-size Tundra pickup. On Friday, October 12, an unmodified 2012 Tundra towed the enormous space shuttle over a bridge across I-405 in Los Angeles, taking around five minutes to complete the trip.

Fitted with a 5.7-liter V8 producing 381 horsepower, the Tundra's feat was especially remarkable because it's only rated to tow 10,000 lb. The shuttle weighs a gargantuan 150,000 lb, while tow equipment added another 120,000 lb to the payload. But Toyota promises it made no modifications to the Tundra, instead purchasing it directly from a local dealer. Assistance came from a specially designed rig created by transport company The Sarens Group, which helped the truck pull the enormous space shuttle.

The Tundra was leading Endeavour through just one leg of its journey from the Los Angeles International Airport to the nearby California Science Center. Thousands of local residents gathered to watch the space shuttle meander through 12 miles of narrow L.A. streets, a task which required cutting trees, removing road signs, and even uprooting traffic signals. The journey lasted nearly two days and finished 17 hours behind schedule.

But the Tundra's part went off without a hitch, as the pickup towed the shuttle as planned over Interstate 405 down the traditionally busy Manchester Boulevard. At the Tundra's helm was Toyota professional driver Matt McBride, while retired astronaut and former Endeavour crew member Garrett Reisman sat in the passenger seat. Toyota camera crews were out in force filming the event as the automaker plans to feature the tow in an upcoming commercial.

According to Toyota, both the truck and the Endeavour will be on display in the California Science Center beginning October 30. The brand has worked with the center to help promote science education since the early 1990s.

What it means to you: If you're interested in a pickup that can tow, the full-size Toyota Tundra has clearly demonstrated its capabilities by towing the space shuttle down a Los Angeles street.

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Toyota Tundra Tows Space Shuttle Endeavor