The event came out of a 20-year partnership between Toyota and the California Science Center, the Endeavour’s new home, to raise awareness of the space program and continue public education through exhibits and events.
Endeavour traveled some 12 miles over city streets before reaching its final destination at the Science Center and the Tundra pulled it over the Manchester Boulevard Bridge, an area that was going to require a lighter towing mechanism than was used for the rest of the route. A specially developed dolly was used to move Endeavour over the bridge.
The Tundra, piloted by Toyota professional driver Matt McBride and copiloted by Endeavour astronaut Garrett Reisman, took five minutes to pull the shuttle across the bridge. The truck had no modifications or special equipment added for the tow.
“I’m honored to be part of the space shuttle Endeavour’s final mission to the California Science Center,” said Reisman. “I appreciate Toyota’s support in helping bring this space icon home to the Southern California community.”
The Science Center has a 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 Oct. 30.