On its way to permanent retirement at the California Science Center, the former spacecraft required the towing services of an earthly Tundra pickup truck.
With three rocket boosters each capable of 1.75 meganewtons of thrust, the space shuttle has plenty of muscle all on its own. But once in a while it needs a little helping hand from, say, a 747. Or a Toyota Tundra. Yes, you read that right. As the space shuttle Endeavour enters its permanent retirement home at the California Science Center today, the 150,000 pound spacecraft was towed into place by a bone-stock Toyota pickup truck along 12 miles of highway 405.
The half-ton Toyota Tundra CrewMax packs a 5.7-liter V8 with 381 horsepower and 401 lb-ft of torque for a 9,000-lb towing capacity, which it clearly exceeded by some margin. Which only leaves us curious as to how it managed to pull something as heavy as a space shuttle without spinning its wheels, bogging down or worse - being torn in half.
Toyota, which sponsors the center, is raising money for a new wing (to the museum, not the spacecraft) where the shuttle will rest. For every tweet sent using the "Share with Twitter" button on Toyota's website, the automaker will donate $50 to the California Science Center. The Endeavour display will be opened to the general public beginning October 30.