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Space capsule sitting in Nowata since the 60s

Posted at 7:32 PM, Aug 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-17 20:33:03-04

Every state has side attractions along its back roads, known mostly to just the locals.

On 300 Road, just east of Highway 169, near Nowata, grasshoppers, and cows outnumber people.

But, many of those traveling a county road come out to see something special.

"It's not something you see every day," sightseer Vic Varley said.

Every day though since the 1950's a space capsule has been there.

A cement truck overturned almost 70 years ago, losing its mixer off the side of the road.

Too heavy to recover way back then, the mixer sat there until probably in the 1960's. During that time the space race was going strong and someone thought they'd give the abandoned mixer a new identity, and painted it to look like a space capsule.

"If they think it's a space capsule you know it brings people out here so that's all good," Varley said.

It brought Varley and his riding partners to hominy.

They're having a bike rally later this month and plan to bring the riders from out of town down road 300 to see the capsule.

It's full of the original cement left over from that day it landed in the ditch here so long ago, you can see the busted straps that let the mixer fall.

The painter obviously had a sense of humor, the phone number on the side is the actual number for NASA.

Not really sure what the meaning behind the registration number is, but I'll bet there is one.

There's also an escape hatch, just like the actual capsules that landed in the ocean upon re-entry through the earth's atmosphere.

"Yeah, it kind of does look the part," Varley said.

The re-purposed space capsule has turned into one of Oklahoma's oddities - no real purpose or lesson - but if you have a little imagination and some spare time, it'll make you grin.

As you may have guessed the space capsule is open 24/7, 365 days a year.

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