Last month it was announced that a Toyota would be supplying an “off the showroom floor” Tundra to tow the orbiter Endeavour the last segment through L.A. to the California Science Center. Now being the proud North Alabamian I am, I immediately started figuring out that the engine would more than likely be manufactured in Huntsville. It would be a full circle to have the engine that is powering Endeavour to her final home to be from the same city that powered her 25 missions to orbit via the Marshall Space Flight Center.
To mark the event the Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Alabama and the U.S. Space and Rocket Center will be hosting a press event under Pathfinder at 10:30 am on Friday (Oct. 12, 2012). The event will feature a stock 2012 Tundra CrewMax 1/2–ton pickup provided by Bill Penny Toyota. This will allow reporters and visiting public to compare the size of the orbiter to the Tundra. There is also rumor of a few special surprises as well.
As for me, I’m leaving tomorrow afternoon to cover the move in person. Updates will be posted on this site and on @SprocketeersOrg twitter account. You can also follow the move at http://www.toyota.com/tundraendeavour/
As thousands of people in Florida watch Endeavour leave for the last time, planners in California are continuing to prepare for her arrival at the California Science Center next month. One of those planners is Toyota’s Advertising Manager, Russ Koble. I had a few moments to speak to to Russ about the recently announced plans from the California Science Center to use a Toyota Tundra to tow Endeavour during the last phase of her ride through the streets of Los Angeles.
Sprocketeers: “We had heard some rumblings on social media that the California Science Center was working on some creative methods for transporting Endeavour, and they have done that in announcing that a Toyota Tundra will be used to help finish up the move. How did Toyota get involved in this effort?”
Russ Koble: “We have had a long standing relationship with the science center. In 1992 they switched from the Museum of Science and Industry to the CSC and they went through a big campaign to update the museum and we were a part of that. We were happy to be involved with them as they have continued to expand through different phases and this is just another phase for them. Getting the Endeavour is a huge win for the science center and a huge win for the Los Angeles area. We are just happy to be a part of it.” (more…)
Since America reached orbit the nation has depended on the engineering talents of Huntsville to keep the space program flying. Now as the orbiter Endeavour is being prepared for her journey to her new home at the California Science Center in Los Angeles, CA we learn that Huntsville will play one last role in getting the orbiter home. Today Toyota announced that a Toyota Tundra will be driving the orbiter through the streets of L.A. The Huntsville connection is that more than likely the engine under hood of that Tundra was made in Huntsville.
Check out the announcement at http://pressroom.toyota.com/releases/toyota+tundra+endeavour+california+science+center.htm
The official site will go live on September 17th at www.toyota.com/TundraEndeavour
Sprocketeers will be in L.A. covering Endeavour’s journey with tweets and blog updates.