Dairy Queen Apollo Capsule
Priceless space junk on display in front of a local Dairy Queen.
Throughout the rural United States, outposts of the Dairy Queen franchise are a common sight. However, the Dairy Queen in Franklin, Pennsylvania, has a very uncommon sight at its location: one of only four surviving Apollo command module boilerplates.
A boilerplate is a mockup of a space capsule design used in simulations. After testing, many boilerplates were sold off for scrap. It was in a Grove City scrapyard that Kim Rogers, owner of the Dairy Queen in Franklin along Pennsylvania Route 8 and space travel enthusiast, found two boilerplates from the Apollo command module in the early 80s. He bought one and transported the 3-ton piece of spaceflight history up to his franchise location, and mounted it in front of the building.
Years later a former Navy man recognized the boilerplate as the same one he had used for underwater demolition training in preparation for the Apollo missions. It was the same model they rescued from the Apollo 16 mission.
Inside the building are monitors with video telling the story of the boilerplate and how it came to rest at his family’s Dairy Queen for over 30 years. That and, of course, ice cream.
Update April 2019: It has since gone out of business, and the capsule is gone.
Update February 2020: Last seen refurbished at Young’s Sandblasting in Blairsville, PA.
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