What do you do when your Space Shuttle and big burly tow truck are too heavy to cross the bridge? The 145 ton Space Shuttle Endeavour was facing that problem at interstate 405 in Los Angeles on October 12, 2012 as it was traveling to the California Science Center. The bridge it needed to cross couldn’t hold that much weight. So, it did what anyone else would think to do at a time like this. They called Toyota.
It wasn’t as easy as showing up in a Toyota Tundra. A special tow dolly had to be developed and the help of the Sarens Group, a heavy lifting and engineering firm, that is just what happened. Toyota, who is a twenty year sponsor of the science center, sent the tow dolly and a bone stock 2012 Toyota Tundra CrewMax 4X4 to help the space shuttle with its crossing. This Toyota Tundra hosts a 5.7 liter Toyota iForce V8 that gives 318 horsepower. It was purchased from a Southern California Toyota dealer. No modifications or special equipment was added for the tow, just the Toyota and the Toyota horses as they were did just fine.
“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.
Garrett Reisman, an engineer and former NASA astronaut added, “I’m honored to be part of the space shuttle Endeavour’s final mission to the California Science Center. I appreciate Toyota’s support in helping bring this space icon home to the Southern California community.”
As you can tell, Garrett wasn’t the only one excited about this event. The video shows the epic crossing.