New Tundra to Max-Tow Space Shuttle Endeavour To Final Resting Place

Space+Shuttle+Endeavour II

The following is a press release that just came over the web about a new Tundra towing almost 300,000 pounds of NASA space shuttle. If you want to open a larger version of the shuttle and Tundra lineart, view the photo here

TORRANCE, Calif., Sept. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. (TMS) announced today that the Toyota Tundra full-size pickup truck is slated to tow the space shuttle Endeavour during its final journey to the California Science Center on October 13, 2012, where it will go on permanent display.   The Endeavour will travel a total of 12 miles from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on city streets to the Science Center, with the Tundra towing the last quarter mile.  

Tested extensively prior to the announcement, the 2012 Tundra is slated to safely tow the 300,000 pound historic artifact down Bill Robertson Lane in Exposition Park, near downtown Los Angeles, on the final leg of its journey.  Endeavour will be towed using a stock 2012 Tundra CrewMax 1/2-ton pickup, identical to models currently found in Toyota dealerships, with no additional modifications made to increase towing capacity or generate more power.  The Tundra CrewMax is equipped with Toyota's powerful 5.7L V8 engine, producing a maximum tow capacity of 10,000 lbs.  TMS has done extensive testing and worked with The Sarens Group, a heavy lifting and engineered transport company, to develop a dolly specifically for hauling the Endeavour.

"There is no larger or more recognizable icon of the U.S. space program's success than the shuttle, and to have it towed by the Toyota Tundra is not only an incredible example of the capabilities of the truck, but an honor to be part of history," said Ed Laukes, TMS vice president of marketing communications.  "The entire journey is something the world will be watching, and gives us a chance to prove that the 'overbuilt' Tundra is built to do any job - even tow the space shuttle."

Participation in the transportation of the shuttle is part of an ongoing partnership between TMS and the Science Center in an effort to provide support and awareness of the space program and continuing education of the public through exhibits and programs.  Toyota currently has a Tundra truck on display in a Science Center exhibit demonstrating the physics of leverage. The tow Tundra will replace the existing Tundra and will be on display after the Endeavour exhibit opens on October 30, 2012.

At the end of the Endeavour's 12 mile journey from LAX to the Science Center, a "finish-line" celebration at Exposition Park is planned for the evening of October 13, as the shuttle arrives at the Science Center, allowing the public to witness the finale of this historic voyage.

The tow program was developed in partnership with Saatchi & Saatchi LA (SSLA), the agency of record for TMS, and the Science Center, and serves as a unique way to demonstrate Tundra's capabilities and towing capacity.  In collaboration with SSLA and Science Center, TMS has developed a host of online resources and activities that provide behind-the-scenes videos, photos, activities for children and information about the Tundra Endeavour project and can be found at beginning September 17th.  Visitors can share content, sign up for email alerts and participate in re-Tweeting information that will help contribute money to the California Science Center for further development of exhibits and displays.

Tundra Shuttle Tow II


After Tundra Deconstructed where it was used as a 3/4 Ton for 100,000 miles they go and do this. I think we all have respect for the mighty 5.7L iforce.

If the Tundra happens to make it, which I doubt, it will also be arriving at its own final resting place. That frame is gonna twist and bend just like a lawn trailer does to those trucks.

Looks like Toyota has joined the other car makers in ignoring SAE J2807. LOL

The Tundra will do it and not complain about it. I bet you could take that truck and drive it for 20 more years. Cue the haters.

@Brother Jim
The TripleTech frame is goona make you eat those words a long with everybody else. Toyota gave this 1/2 ton a frame design meant for a HD truck.

Can anyone remember a VW Toureg towing the even heavier Boeing 747?

Well if this can do then my Ranger must be able to do it too lol

So they are towing 300,000 lbs with a 10,000 lbs max towing rating??????? I told you J2807 was a joke.

Yeah, I hope to be there to watch it.

It's a publicity stunt that will set the domestics reeling.

I hope they put braces across the bed because the way that thing beat the back of the cab in a straight line torture test can you imagine what it will do towing anything remotely heavy.

I hope they have a ford standing buy to pull them both out of the way.

Should we find it a little insulting that the icon of the US Space Program is hauled to its retirement spot by a Japanese truck (no matter where its made)? Any 4wd 1/2 ton with a big V8 and proper gears could do this, as long as the cooling system keeps up- can the engine fan pull enough air at the expected rpm? Is there also an electric?
@Robert Ryan- beat me to it- compared to that feat, this isn't all that impressive. I seem to recall the Tuareg was ballasted to close to 5t to give it enough traction though. I could be mistaking.


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This is a quarter mile test we want in the next half ton shootout! Lol

Toyota is not American, get out of our USA business go tow something in Japan. You can't even build a dealership or a factory without big threes real work trucks. NASA you need to rember who pays your funding American tax payers , stop advertising for foreign companies.

With the dolly, the Tundra won't be supporting any of the shuttle's weight. And if the bearings are good (and trust me, for enough money you can get nearly ideal bearings - cue the tax payers "cha-ching") the only load the Tundra will need to overcome is a) the "rolling resistance" of the dolly (frition in the bearings, inerita of the mechanical components) and b) air drag. All in all, you could probably do this with a <100hp farm tractor...

More important to me (and already pointed out by others) is the fact that NASA is using a Japanese truck to do this. Shameful...

The Ecoboost will beat it. LMFAO!

C, might want to crack open that spell checker .... "rember"....LOL!!!!

@MrKnowitall. Yes it was ballasted

I own a Tundra and the truck is great. I don't understand why NASA is using a half ton pick up when there are so many other diesel trucks more suited for the job. That being said it will be interesting to see how it performs. I know it will work, Toyota will have tested the pull first and wouldn't want the embarassment of a failure.

It's quite amazing what gearing can do. I've pulled a stuck super duty out of deep sand using my 88hp (when new) Suzuki Samurai. Of course, my "Sammi" can't quite make it up to 45mph on a straight stretch of road...

Ford had a video of the new global ranger pulling a freight train down the tracks some time ago.

Bottom line, this is gonna be a very slow parade float...

Definitely a marketing stunt. If they really meant it, the truck would tow the Shuttle the full 12-mile route.

It all looks good for the cameras and gets the media fired up.

At work we use Toyota towmotors (NA called tugs). They are about 10' long and 5' wide and weigh about 4 tons with a 3 litre diesel. They can move a substantial amount of weight.

Some of the comments are silly though especially about what nations are doing what. Input from many countries was used in the Shuttle program. The Canadians even builts the big arm for placing and retriving satellites.

Even the name Endeavour is from a British Naval ship captained by James Cook. See how Endeavour is spelt?

Here is the Global ranger towing more weight than the Tundra.

Thats nothing compared to a jet landing with its front landing gear supported by a Nissan Frontier.

@Brother Jim: The Super Duty and Tundra have very similar frame designs. So, if a super duty were to do the same thing, its frame too would become twisted.

Could this be the answer to reviving the space program? OEMs taking turns sponsoring the program through television commercials. Let's see, the total cost of the space shuttle program through 2011, adjusted for inflation, was $196 billion... On second thought, Toyota might be able to assist with some museum costs. :)

I am guessing they have some sort of "tug" to get the whole mess going, and that really just leaves the truck in 4 lo revving as high as it can to just keep the wheels of the dollies rolling. What will be most interesting is if the Tundra starts the shuttle rolling from a stop, or if in this parade there are multiple starts and stops. I have a hard time believing it could handle that.

The transmission will be beefed up so it doesn't break.

'overbuilt' my a$$!!!!!!

I see 3/4 ton chevys pullin trailers for toyota dealerships all the time, so why don't they use the turdra?

A guy I know works for a Dr.Pepper distributor that uses turdras, chevys and ford 1/2 ton pick ups to deliver empty soda machines and the turdra is the only one that has transmission problems and all trucks have between 30,000 to 40,000 on them.

PR stunt for an outdated, overpriced, and ugly POS.

Tundra frame flexing so much the bed contacts the cab.

That's some sad news when NASA turns its back on products that built America. We now have no hope for the future if it comes down to this.

*Spoiler Alert* - The 'rolling resistance' of 300,000 is just 30,000 lbs so as mentioned, a Ranger could easily tug that parade float.

Hey, Brother Jim, could you comment on what exactly is happening in this part of the video?


Funny to see the patriotic types and the anti - Tundra types all pissed off.

Toyota payed the cash to support the science centre therefore they get the benefit of the PR.

Who was stopping the "USA" companies from doing the same?

The same xenophobes spewing the same crap.......nothing ever changes.

Wonder what they think about Ford and Toyota teaming up to build hybrid trucks???

Wonder how they feel regarding all the Ford/GM crap being made in China........but doesn't the money stay here??

(rhetorical questions....we all know they don't think)

BTW, over 100K on my '07 Tundra and still good as new.....was on my 3rd 4R100 @ 70K on my last Ford.

This is towing a wagon, not a trailer. There is practically no tongue weight on this. A car or SUV could do it. Good marketing stunt though. It will get a lot of attention. The only reason GM, Fiat, and Ford people are upset is because they didn't think of it first.

I guess they can shut NASA down now, I no longer care.

a special dolly is made to hook to the tundra, this is so it won't hurt the truck, who really cares about towing a space shuttle, another FAIL at a publicity stunt. Kinda like the tundra commercial where it goes up the incline in flames, I thought to myself, " Better buy a tundra if I ever have to go up a prefab circular incline in flames."

Toyota is best truck around better than any rig or heavy duty diesel 1 ton better than Deiesl Ford,Ram and Chevies they cant tow 300,000 poundes.300,000 lb towing I wonder why Toyota doesnt advertise this they would out sell all the heavy duty trucks around they do 3 second 0-60 and tow 300,000 pounds.Toyota is best truck.I bet you we wont need Kenworth or Mack trucks now once this gets out,Tundra will now rule with the renewed 2013 with the 300,000 poundes towing rate ! All right Toyota makes me proud,I know my 2004 tundra beats and out tows any American truck I dont know who would buy a overpriced diesel dually,why they cant tow 300,000 poundes,no they cant only Toyotas truck do.

@Lou wrote:

"Looks like Toyota has joined the other car makers in ignoring SAE J2807."

LMFAO...Lou wins.


Why don't you learn to properly type in, oh I don't know, ENGLISH? Maybe throw in some proper grammar? How the heck is anyone supposed to comprehend what you typed? Yes, I am calling you an idiot...

@ Lou It only makes sense to use the only "made in America" half ton to pull the shuttle doesn't it?

This just goes to show that SAE J2807 is utterly pointless the tundra is still going to have to start and stop the orbiter so it can tow 300,000 lbs just dont expect the vehicle to hold up if you do that alot. this is better than the comercial where they tow the airplane with the 3/4 ton and it flys. that what i like about the Ford(Mike Rowe) and toyota comercals they do real things with the truck, like th f150 cominout of the C123 and stopping it, as corny as the flame and circular thing looks they drove a truck up that and ist not cgi. nissans snowboarding frontier is just rediculusly bad. And the prius turning everyone into scary flowers must be geared to some heavy drug users cause that is scarry. This will certainly make a more intresting commercial for toyota than that ugly bland family where everyone drives a corrola

Ford will tow 2 space shuttles up Pikes Peak

Toyota is not American, get out of our USA business go tow something in Japan. You can't even build a dealership or a factory without big threes real work trucks. NASA you need to rember who pays your funding American tax payers , stop advertising for foreign companies.
Posted by: joe | Sep 12, 2012

Stop being so damn narrow minded and remember during this shitty economy how many people did Toyota lay off in their U.S assembly facilities.... ZERO. How many people does Toyota employ in their U.S manufacturing facilities....Thousands and Thousands. I bet if you took EVERTHING that wasn't made in the U.S.A out of YOUR house, it would be as empty as that thing you call a brain!!!

@Steve i would only take out my TV blue Ray xbox macbook pro and Iphone i buy american for everything else. when you look at profits form companies like Apple they dont make anything in the US but they still contribute alot to the us economy as thier R and D is here and their corperate office is here yes the assembly line is run by FOXCOn in China but most of the money stays here samething with GM building cars in Mexico etc. with tthe way alot of the parts are sourced these days i think people should look at where the end product is made and where the corperate office is located. To make it easier on here is how i rank the most American 1/2ton pickups interms of parts content and corperation location
1.F150 US HQ design and production
2. Silverado Seirra 1500 US HQ design and production
3. (Tie)Tundra and Ridgeline US design and Production
5. Ram US design and production
6. Titan US design and production
7. GM Mexico US HQ and design
8. Ram Mexico US design

Actually the numbers are like this folks, Toyota supports American Jobs like this:

USA Direct Employement 30,160 people

USA Indirect Employment (suppliers and manufacturers) totals 171,298!!!

There are 10 plants in the USA, 9 models of Toyota's are built right here in the States, including Tundra's and Tacomas, Sequoia's, Highlanders, Camry, Sienna, Venza, Avalon, and Corolla.

Mississippi plant just hired 2000 people this year!

Total investment 18,000,000,000 yes thats BILLIONS directly into the USA to you and your neighbors.

How bout them apples???? To all you haters the tundra has been the most american truck for the last 6 YEARS until this year it was bumped by amount of sales. boy i'd sure hope so seein as how many F Series are sold, and the last 6 years ford was supporting LESS AMERICANS with F series production THAN TOYOTA WAS with JUST A HALF TON!

@ hemi lol Way to tell it like it is! Over 200,000 people employed and yet people still bitch! Amazing...some people can't see past their noses.

I sure like my 2009 Tundra 5.7. Best truck I have ever owned, and I have owned them all.

This is a great PR stunt. I'm going up there when it happens and hope to see it live and in person.

The Tundra isn't for everyone, but those who buy it have reasons all their own for doing so.

@HEMI lol the Fserise was the top of the american made index in 2006-2008 it fell to third in 2009 and was MIA in 10 and 11

So only 2 years not on top and for 2012 it is higher than Tundra again check your facts I dont know what forien parts are on my 2010 bc it doesn't seem like many are 5.4l v8 engine trransmission frame and body are made in usa susspension on a raptor is Fox in California i guess the leafs could be some where else idk don't forget they spread that number accross the line.

Did you know LA is chopping down 12 MILES OF TREES on both sides of the road to achieve this? How incredibly insensitive and dumb!!!!!

@Carilloskis: Hemi LOL does have his facts straight, he did state that the F Series did place higher than the Tundra, only by sales though.

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