Un Toyota Tundra ayuda a remolcar con éxito el Endeavour

Un Toyota Tundra ayuda a remolcar con éxito el Endeavour

13 octubre 2012

No era nada fácil la tarea que le había sido asignada a una pick-up Toyota Tundra y que debía ejecutarse en la noche de ayer; ayudar a que el transbordador espacial Endeavour llegase de manera segura a su destino final, en el Centro de ciencias de California.

Este tipo de desplazamientos no pueden ser hechos a la ligera, ya que se necesitan realizar algunos cálculos de peso, sobre todo si el vehículo a transportar tiene que atravesar un puente. Asimismo, el vehículo que actúa como remolcador debe ser reemplazado para equilibrar los pesos sobre el puente, por un vehículo más liviano; y aqui es donde ha entrado en juego el Toyota Tundra, que ha completado el transporte de manera exitosa.

Luego de realizar los cálculos de peso y estructurales sobre el puente, todo estaba preparado para el transporte. El Endeavour, de casi 100 toneladas, descansaba sobre una plataforma que cuenta con nada menos que 160 ruedas directrices, mientras que a su lado se situaba un Tundra CrewMax 4×4 con el motor iForce V8 sin ninguna modificación especial para la ocasión, simplemente el mismo Tundra que se puede comprar en los concesionarios. Todo estaba listo, el pick-up de Toyota esperaba pacientemente a que estuviera dispuesto el cruce.

Como datos curiosos de lo que sería el último viaje del Endeavour, los ingenieros tuvieron que retirar los postes de luz y las líneas de electricidad, mientras la policía detenía el tráfico en la autopista 405 que cruza por debajo del puente. A lo largo de la lenta llegada al inicio del tramo más difícil del viaje, el Endeavour tuvo que pasar por calles residenciales, en donde frecuentemente los extremos de las alas pasaban a pocos metros de las casas.

A marcha muy lenta que no superaba los 5 km/h, el Toyota Tundra ha demorado 5 minutos en cruzar el puente, mientras un controlador movía mediante un remoto las ruedas directrices de la plataforma del Endeavour, para sortear los desniveles del asfalto. Finalizaba así una de las partes más delicadas del viaje, que en total ha costado 10 millones de dólares en planificación, construcción de la plataforma y derechos de remolque.

¿Qué será de este Toyota Tundra-Endeavour? Será donada por Toyota al mismo centro de exhibiciones en donde el Endeavour descansará de aqui en más, formando parte de uno de los pabellones de trabajos en física abiertos al público, en donde ya existe un Tundra de la anterior generación. La nueva pick-up reemplazará a la anterior, poniendo también su granito de arena en la carrera espacial.

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