Engineering The Impossible: Freedom Ship (2002)
Engineering the Impossible was a ground-breaking 2-hour special, created and written by Alan Lindgren and produced by Powderhouse Productions for the Discovery Channel. It focused on three incredible, yet physically possible, engineering projects: the nine mile (14 km)-long Gibraltar Bridge, the 170-story Millennium Tower and the 4000+-foot-long Freedom Ship. This program won the Beijing International Science Film Festival Silver Award, and earned Discovery's second-highest, weeknight rating for 2002.
Freedom Ship was a floating city project initially proposed by Norman Nixon in the late 1990s. It was so named because of the "free" international lifestyle facilitated by a mobile ocean colony, though the project would not have been a conventional ship, but rather a series of linked barges.
The Freedom Ship project envisioned a 1,317m-long integrated city with condominium housing for 50,000 people, an airstrip to accommodate turboprop aircraft, duty-free shopping and other facilities, large enough to require rapid transit. The complex would circumnavigate the globe continuously, stopping regularly at ports of call.
Due to the stresses of hogging and sagging, conventional shipbuilding would be inadequate for a floating complex 1400m in length. The developers have stated that they will use a segmented barge-building technique, giving the hull flexibility and allowing incremental expansion.