The idea of lifting a full-size pickup truck completely off the ground by hand might seem as likely as, say, said pickup truck towing a 150,000-pound space shuttle, but... hurray, physics! The same Toyota Tundra that towed the Space Shuttle Endeavour to its final resting place at the California Science Center is now on permanent display there as an exhibit that shows how a lever works.

Like all levers, this exhibit uses a fulcrum allowing people other than Superman to lift the 5,625-pound pickup (plus an extra 1,000 pounds for the rig). That's almost as impressive as the Tundra pulling 17 times its rated towing capacity back in October. Regardless, Toyota is once again cashing in on the publicity stunt and visitors to the science center get a live demonstration of a simple machine – we call that a win-win.
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California Science Center Unveils Giant Lever Exhibit Featuring the Toyota Tundra Used During Space Shuttle Endeavour Transport

LOS ANGELES (May 31, 2013) – The California Science Center, in partnership with Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., unveiled the Toyota Tundra full-size pick-up truck used to tow the Space Shuttle Endeavour over the 405 Freeway Manchester Boulevard Bridge during its journey through Los Angeles and Inglewood Streets. The Tundra is on display as part of the Giant Lever Exhibit, located in the California Science Center/California African American Museum parking structure adjacent to the science center entrance. The unveiling commemorated Endeavour's last flight STS-134, which launched May 16 and landed in the early morning hours of June 1, 2011.

Taking part in the unveiling were Jeffrey Rudolph, president, California Science Center; Michael Rouse, vice president, Diversity, Philanthropy and Community Affairs, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.; Lynda Oschin, chair of the Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Oschin Family Foundation; and former astronaut Garrett Reisman, Ph.D., who flew aboard Endeavour and rode in the Tundra at the time of the Endeavour tow.
Five year-old "future astronauts" Noah Lara and Samantha Comiskey, dressed in orange jumpsuits, demonstrated the science behind the Giant Lever Exhibit. A lever consists of a rigid beam pivoting on a fulcrum. By standing further away from the fulcrum, the two applied less force and were able to lift the Tundra full-size pickup truck.

"We are thrilled to unveil the Toyota Tundra as an addition to our Giant Lever Exhibit, as we commemorate the anniversary of Endeavour's last mission," stated Rudolph. "We are grateful for Toyota's longstanding commitment to science learning."

In addition to the donation of the Tundra, at the unveiling, Rouse presented a check from Toyota's Tundra Endeavour Tweet Drive to the California Science Center Foundation. Toyota organized a tweet drive during Endeavour's transport from LAX to the California Science Center, where twitter followers re-tweeted to raise $401,300.

"Toyota has been a supporter and partner of the California Science Center from the very beginning," said Rouse. "We are honored to continue our partnership through this fun, interactive exhibit."


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  • 39 Comments
      Jerry
      • 1 Year Ago
      Zzzzzzzz....
      v8eater
      • 1 Year Ago
      Cool display...all the people in this post are to busy hating on the Tundra to realize that.
      caddy-v
      • 1 Year Ago
      Might as well park it there. It\'s as useless now as it was before the phony pull. Come back in a year and listen to it rust.
      billfrombuckhead
      • 1 Year Ago
      While America was going to the moon and protecting Japan from China, Russia and North Korea, the Japanese were buying down the yen to gain marketshare in the USA. Truely frenemies.
        GR
        • 1 Year Ago
        @billfrombuckhead
        You seem to mix up historical timelines. America going to the moon? At that time, the US was fighting communism, more interested in protecting South Korea and South Vietnam from their commie northern brethren (who were both supported by China) than Japan. In fact, during WWII, Japan was doing a very good job kicking-in the teeth of all the countries you claim the US was protecting it against. Literally had some of them occupied. After the US brought Japan to its knees in WWII, Japan ramped up rebuilding the nation and becoming re-industrialized for a global market. I would say their notable expansion into the US market was in the late 70's, after "going to the moon". As I already wrote, the Chinese, Russians, and the Koreas were too busy fighting each other or other neighbors to be a serious threat to Japan. Anyone who has lived in Japan could tell you the US bases in Japan serve the US military's power fetish more than protecting Japan. It benefits the US so they can deploy rapidly to conflicts in Asia that often has NOTHING to do with Japan. As for yen manipulation, people argue they did that just a few months ago. Unlike the US, looks like the Japanese gov't and the Japanese industry work together for the prosperity of their nation's people. Well, not in the case of the Chinese market though. The Japanese gov't seems to F everything up for the Japanese industry there.
          billfrombuckhead
          • 1 Year Ago
          @GR
          So much for so-called free markets. Without the US Navy, Japan would be a Chinese colony, the new Hong Kong. Don't forget the Soviet army ran through Manchuria at an extraordinary rate. The Japanese had no answer to the T34 tank with battle hardened troops from the European front. One reason we dropped the A-bomb was because the Soviets would have taken much of Japan before we got there.
          GR
          • 1 Year Ago
          @GR
          billfrombuckhead, Wow, I take it you like to make up Asian history. First, Japan would be a Chinese colony? Really, go read some WWII history. Go figure out why Chinese dislike the Japanese. It's because Japan OCCUPIED China during WWII. You seem to think the other way around would happen without the US. Irony is that in ACTUAL HISTORY, the US was the main force that made Japan leave China. Japan was occupying China very comfortably before then. Oh, they were also in Korea, the Philippines, Burma, etc. Also, the "new Hong Kong"? Irony is that Hong Kong was a BRITISH colony that was GIVEN back to China. China never had it by force. Seriously, where do you learn your Asian history? Also the Soviets into Japan? No! The reason why the US dropped the atomic bombs was to make Japan surrender BEFORE a land invasion by the UNITED STATES forces, not the Soviets. The Soviets were barely able to push back the Nazis. Invade Japan? Please. The US lost a lot fighting over a tiny island called Iwo Jima after days of shelling it. It was a preview to mainland Japan unless a surrender. Had Japan not surrendered before the invasion, Allied (as in mostly American) forces were estimated to have over 1 million causalities, 1/4 of them being fatalities. The bombs were dropped to make sure Japan completely gave up before the US went in. The Soviets had little to do with it. You really don't know your WWII history, especially related to Japan. Go study more.
      Renaurd
      • 1 Year Ago
      I won't be looking at it, I think it's a crying damn shame.
      Carlos Cruz
      • 1 Year Ago
      Everyone here seems to conveniently forget that a car is not represented by just the ornament in the hood. Overall profit margins on Automobiles are about 15%, so where is the other 85%? Suppliers and Workforce. A Toyota Camry is manufactured in Georgetown, KY or Lafayette, IN and has a domestic parts content value of 92%. This means that 92% of that vehicle's parts came from another North American factory. Factories spread all over this country making everything from steering wheels to windshield washer fluid bottles. The Camry is the vehicle with the highest DPC. The F-150 is 60%, Silverado is 61, Ram 1500 70%. The Toyota Tundra pictured has an 75% DPC. In fact, the vehicle with the highest American content in the market today is a Toyota Avalon, with 85% DPC, the Engine, Transmission and Final Assembly are all done by Americans in Georgetown, KY. The NHTSA keeps a handy list of vehicle's DPC, here's the latest copy http://www.nhtsa.gov/staticfiles/rulemaking/pdf/AALA/2012_AALA_Percent_9-6-2012.pdf
        jtav2002
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Carlos Cruz
        Don't try and tell people that Carlos. It's easy for them to keep repeating the same old "every cent goes back to Japan" crap. You'll just get downvoted for repeating it.
      owen brown
      • 1 Year Ago
      Ha funny comments.Love my 2013 Tundra crew cab ,that is the best truck for me .
      DarkKnight67
      • 1 Year Ago
      Every time this ad is on, I have to laugh when they try so hard to convince the public that TRD did this without any modifications when you can see the specialized trailer right in the commercial.
        Syke
        • 1 Year Ago
        @DarkKnight67
        What I don't get is where the hell was GM's, Ford's and Chrysler's advertising departments? I'm floored that they let Toyota get the publicity jump on them with this. And having done so, of course Toyota is going to milk it for all its worth.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      q1ford
      • 1 Year Ago
      SEND THE CHEEP TUNDRA BACK TO JAPAN WHERE IT BELONGS. MAY BE THEY WILL USE IT TO PULL THERE JAPANESE SHUTTLE.
        Nicholas Maher
        • 1 Year Ago
        @q1ford
        I'm not going to knock your Ford because it's a good truck, as is the Tundra. The thing is . . . they are both made in the U.S.A. That's obviously news to you.
      eblondmdboy24
      • 1 Year Ago
      Where the car or truck is made is not the point. The profits of Japanese companies erode our economy. If you want every worker in the USA to be a robot. The profits go overseas to be invested into real estate overseas… let’s look at Detroit, overseas stock markets, overseas purchasing which helps local economies. When you have a vehicle made in the USA the worker doesn’t make much. Will shop at target and profits again go overseas. IF a USA company makes a product they invest in new research labs, invest in new plants help produce high level engineering jobs. The Japanese marking people are quite crafty in making Americans thing that just because something is made here is OK to buy. This logic is flawed.
      Cruising
      • 1 Year Ago
      Learn to accept the shuttle program was a truly international program, people of various nationalities flew aboard this craft and it's sister ships. In fact had it not been for international involvement the shuttle program probably would have ended earlier. Quick everyone stop buying Subaru's their parent company Fuji Heavy Industries builds wing box sections for the 787! OMG Japanese parts in our American planes! See how stupid that sounds, learn to accept aerospace is a international affair has been for several years. Oh by the way no flimsy pick up truck domestic or foreign can hold a candle to the capabilities or abuse encountered of the ultimate pick up, Endeavour and her sister ships.
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