Last week we were invited to a “Tundra Endeavour” event to check out the unveiling of the NEW Giant Lever Exhibit which features the actual Tundra that towed Space Shuttle Endeavour through the streets of Los Angeles. We also got to meet and take pictures with Former NASA Astronaut Garrett Reisman (who flew aboard the Endeavour and rode in the Tundra at the time of the Endeavour Tow).
Toyota’s Commitment to Science and CA Science Center:
Toyota has a 20-year partnership with the California Science Center in support of science learning for everyone through educational programs and world-class exhibits like Space Shuttle Endeavour. Last year during the tow, Toyota did a Tweet Drive to raise funds for the Endeavour’s new home at the CA Science Center. For each tweet with hashtag #TundraEndeavour (during the tow and thru November 30, 2012), Toyota donated $50 with their goal of $500,000. They collected $401,300!!
During the unveiling, Toyota presented the California Science Center Foundation with the check from the Tundra Endeavour Tweet Drive. Very cool. (see picture below)
Where is the Giant Lever Exhibit?
The Giant Lever Exhibit featuring the Tundra will now appear in the California Science Center’s main parking lot. You can’t miss it.
Special Speakers/Participants were:
- California Science Center President Jeffrey N. Rudolph
- Chair of the Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Oschin Family Foundation Lynda Oschin
- Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. Vice President of Diversity, Philanthropy, and Community Affairs Michael Rouse
- Former NASA Astronaut Garrett Reisman.
Want more info?
You can watch some amazing footage of the tow here in multi-screen:
For more info with timeline and facts, please visit their website here: http://www.toyota.com/tundraendeavour/
Interesting Tundra Endeavour Facts:
- On April 12, 2011, NASA announced California Science Center will receive Space Shuttle Endeavour for permanent display.
- The Space Shuttle Endeavour landed from it’s final mission, STS-134 on June 1, 2011.
- On September 21, 2012, Endeavour takes a final flight aboard NASA’s Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft flying over Sacramento, San Francisco, and the Central Coast before landing at LAX.
- Space Shuttle Endeavour was towed across the Manchester Bridge by a 2012 Toyota Tundra CrewMax 1/2 – ton pickup, with a standard 5.7L V8 engine on Friday, October 12, 2012 during the orbiter’s historic 12-mile overland journey to the California Science Center.
- The tow was 12 miles, took 68 hours, and arrived on October 14, 2012.
- The Samuel Oschin Space Shuttle Endeavour Display Pavilion opened to the public on October 30, 2012.
- The Toyota Tundra successfully towed the 150,000 lb. orbiter, as well as the dolly and towing mechanisms for a total weight of 292,500 lbs., approximately a quarter mile across the Manchester Bridge over the 405 Fwy– in 4.5 minutes.
- Occupants of the Toyota Tundra included professional driver Matt McBride, former NASA astronaut and Endeavour mission member Garrett Reisman, and Toyota executive Ed Laukes.
- The Toyota Tundra used to the tow the orbiter was an unmodified, stock vehicle purchased from a Southern California Toyota dealer. Any customer can purchase an identical model.
- The Toyota Tundra is built exclusively at Toyota Motor Manufacturing in San Antonio, Texas. The $2.2 billion plant employs 2,900 team members. The Tundra has been exclusively assembled in the U.S. since 1999.
- The Tundra has one of the highest levels of North American-sourced parts of any pickup truck.
- Southern California has been home to Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. for 55 years. Located in Torrance, Calif., Toyota’s sales and marketing organization is staffed by 4,000 associates.
Tow Tundra Stats
- Engine: 5.7-liter aluminum i-Force 32-valve V8
- Horsepower: 381 @ 5,800 rpm
- Torque: 401 lbs.-ft. @ 3,600 rpm
- Transmission: 6-speed electronic automatic
- Curb Weight: 5,625 lbs.
- Gross Vehicle Weight: 7,200 lbs
- Towing Capacity: 10,000 lbs
- Height: 76.0”
- Width: 79.9”
- Length: 228.7”
- Wheelbase: 145.7”
- Front/Rear Track: 67.9”
- Ground Clearance: 10.4”
- Mileage: 13 city/17 hwy
- Base MSRP: $34,630
California Science Center
Later, we explored the Endeavour: The California Story Exhibit and visited the Endeavour Exhibit in the Samuel Oschin Pavilion inside the CA Science Center. More on that coming up.
Disclosure: I was invited as a member of the media for the unveiling event. Entrance into the CA Science Museum is free and we were there before it was open to the public. All opinions are my own.