A Toyota Tundra will still tow the space shuttle Endeavour, but on a different day and in a different location.
Why the sudden shuffle? The Endeavour’s route includes crossing the Manchester Boulevard Bridge which isn’t strong enough to support the mechanical dolly being used to move the shuttle through most of its journey. The shuttle itself weighs about 170,00 lbs, a Toyota representative said, and with the added transportation equipment it would be too much for the bridge to bear.
Apart from that being too much for the bridge to bear, some might wonder how a stock Tundra rated with a 8,100-lb towing capacity can pull something so gigantic. But the brand says it conducted extensive testing and while it doesn’t recommend regular customers put their trucks through that much stress, it says the vehicle will be capable of the quarter-mile straight line tow.
So instead of its originally scheduled route which would have seen the Tundra and Endeavor arrive at the California Science Center together, Toyota will offer its truck a day in advance, allowing the route to continue as previously planned.
Some members of the Republican party expressed qualms over having a Toyota delivering what many would consider a symbol of American achievement, but Toyota was quick to poke holes in that argument. While Toyota is a Japanese company, the brand pointed out that the vehicle is built in Texas.
Expect more on the event as it draws closer next week.