LOS ANGELES, May 31, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- 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."
About the California Science Center
The Science Center's mission is to stimulate curiosity and inspire science learning in everyone by creating fun, memorable experiences and has welcomed over 20 million guests since its grand opening in February of 1998.
The California Science Center and IMAX Theater are located in historic Exposition Park just west of the Harbor (110) Freeway at 700 Exposition Park Drive. The Science Center is open daily from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 pm. Please check the Science Center web site for schedule updates at www.californiasciencecenter.org.
Toyota (NYSE: TM) established operations in the United States in 1957 and currently operates 10 manufacturing plants. There are more than 1,500 Toyota, Lexus and Scion dealerships in the United States, which sold more than 2 million vehicles in 2012. Toyota directly employs over 31,000 in the United States and its investment here is currently valued at more than $19.5 billion, including sales and manufacturing operations, research and development, financial services and design. Toyota's annual purchasing of parts, materials, goods and services from U.S. suppliers totals over $27.5 billion.