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What can you tow a space shuttle with? An ordinary Toyota pick-up

By FaezClutchless on 24 Sep 2012

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Usually, when a vehicle breaks down on the road, we would see it being towed by a normal tow truck or placed on a truck with a flat bed at the back. And when you need to tow big and heavy vehicle, you would need a heavy duty tow truck, probably, one with a hook and chain that could winch it.

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But what if the vehicle is a space shuttle and it weighs around 300,000 pounds (136077 kilograms)? You might think that a special type of tow truck is needed to pull all those extra weight. But, the answer is no. You just need a pick-up and Toyota will prove that its Tundra pick-up is possible in doing that.

A Toyota Tundra is to tow the space shuttle Endeavour on its last leg of journey to the California Science Centre. It is slated to tow the gigantic machine on October 13, 2012 and the Endeavour will be permanently displayed at the above mentioned venue.

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The Endeavour is said to travel a total of 12 miles (around 19 kilometres) from the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on city streets to the Science Centre, with the Tundra pick-up towing the Endeavour for the last quarter mile.

Before Toyota Motor Sales USA (TMS) made the announcement, tests were done extensively on the Tundra to see if it is capable of pulling such heavy weight. The Endeavour will be pulled by a stock 2012 Toyota Tundra CrewMax ½ Ton pick-up which are identical to the ones being sold in Toyota dealerships across America and there are no modifications made to increase the towing capacity or to generate more power.

The Toyota Tundra is fitted with a powerful 5.7-litre V8 engine and it has a maximum tow capacity of 10,000 pounds (4535 kilograms). A specially developed dolly was made by The Sarens Group (a heavy lifting and engineering company) to haul the Endeavour.

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Toyota’s participation in the transportation of the space shuttle Endeavour is an ongoing partnership between TMS and the Science Centre. It is an effort to provide support and awareness for the space program and also to continue education of the public through exhibits and programs.

Toyota currently has a Tundra displayed at the science centre and it demonstrates the physics of leverage and the tow Tundra will replace this existing Tundra after the event and will be on display after the Endeavour exhibit opens on the October 30, 2012.

Photo credit: Auto Blog

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Written by FaezClutchless
Some say that his blood is actually RON98 petrol and some say that his right foot weighs over 20kg. But all that we know about Faez is that he loves to drive and is a JDM enthusiast.

  • 1
Friendstar Sep 26 2012 08:20 AM
Official spec said towing capability is 4.5ton.

But this time round it is towing 136ton.

I dunno how this can be done without modification
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