After extensive coordination among police agencies, city leaders and the California Science Center Foundation, the previously reported use of a Toyota Tundra to pull the space shuttle Endeavour from the Los Angeles International Airport to its final resting place on the campus of USC has been modified.
A heavy-duty autonomous electric trailer will carry the shuttle for most of the 8-mile route because the Endeavour is so large and heavy. Extensive route modifications to trees, powerlines, and traffic signals will needed to accomodate the beheamoth payload.
The only section along the route where a fullsize pickup truck, a Tundra, will be able to pull the space shuttle will be on a freeway overpass. There, the Endeavour will be off-loaded from the electric hauler and put onto a much lighter, multi-wheeled trailer. The Tundra will pull the trailer and shuttle across the 405 Freeway on West Manchester Boulevard, on the way to downtown Inglewood, Calif.
The changeover to the new trailer will take several hours, and once the shuttle is across the bridge, it will take several more hours to reload back onto the original electric hauler. This HD hauler is the same type of machine that moved the largest rock ever moved to another of Los Angeles' museums earlier this year. That move covered more than 100 miles, only ran at night, and took almost two weeks to complete.
The Endeavour will leave the airport hangar sometime Thursday, Oct. 11, and is expected to arrive at the museum facility late in the day on Oct. 13, at its final resting place just south of downtown Los Angeles.