In the years before the release of the 1998 film Armageddon, I was asked to build prototypes for the space shuttles Freedom and Independence. We were on a tight budget and were instructed to create these shuttles out of ordinary household materials. For the fuselage, we used old water heaters. Unfortunately, Michael Bay, Jerry Bruckheimer and Touchstone Pictures didn't like the finished product. So here we were with two awesome prototypes of the shuttles Freedom and Independence. What to do? I know, let's place them as geocaches and post the coordinates online at geocaching.com and have other people find them. Good times!
We have posted the preliminary plans that were used in the created of the shuttle prototypes for your enjoyment and pictures will shortly follow of the production.
After several meteoroids destroy the Space Shuttle Atlantis and bombard the Earth, NASA discovers that an asteroid the size of Texas is on a direct collision course with Earth and will likely wipe out all life on the Earth and destroy it. It is not publicly revealed that it will hit the Earth within 18 days. The scientists at NASA devise a plan to activate a nuclear bomb at a precise point under the asteroid's surface which will split it in two and cause it to miss the Earth. NASA locates the best oil driller on the planet, Harry Stamper, to get advice. Harry and Grace, his daughter, are taken to NASA and Dan Truman, the head of NASA, informs him of the situation. Harry immediately recognizes that he and his crew must accompany the astronauts on the mission to ensure the job is done properly. After Harry's crew is collected from across the country and NASA acquiesces to their demands, they are put through a training program and outfit a drilling rig with the proper equipment for the job.
When a meteorite strikes Shanghai, China, destroying the city and causing a tsunami, around 50,000 people die. At this point, the pending mission is revealed to the world. Two specially designed military shuttles, Freedom and Independence are launched simultaneously and shortly dock at a Russian space station to refuel. The two shuttles perform a high G-force slingshot procedure around the Moon to land on the backside of the asteroid. However, as they enter the trailing debris of the asteroid, the Independence is struck and crash lands on the asteroid. The Freedom manages to land on the surface but misses the target landing zone. They land on an area of hard iron which will be difficult to drill through. The Freedom team try to drill but suffer several setbacks and losses due to the unexpected conditions. It is revealed that if the deadline is missed, Colonel Sharpe would activate the nuclear device on the surface. However, a surface explosion would not be sufficient to divert the asteroid from hitting the Earth. Harry is able to convince Colonel Sharpe to help them attempt to finish the job. During this time, another meteorite wipes out much of Paris, France. Then Agra, India and Sydney, Australia.
All seems lost when their drilling machine is blasted off the asteroid by a gas vent. However, they learn that the other team managed to survive the crash and have driven the second drilling machine to the drilling site. Harry puts AJ in charge of finishing the drilling and they successfully drill to the necessary depth. The team lowers the bomb into the hole, but find that they can not detonate remotely. AJ is picked to detonate the bomb remotely after drawing straws, but Harry disables his air supply and takes his place. As the shuttle prepares to depart, Harry sends a final message to his daughter and gives his full support for her to marry AJ. Harry manages to activate the bomb moments before the critical deadline, and the asteroid halves successfully miss the Earth. The remaining crew of the Freedom return to Earth as heroes, AJ reuniting tearfully with Grace while the others are met by their loved ones. Grace and AJ soon marry, while Harry and their lost crew members are memorialized.
NOTE: This was a pain to place. I hope you enjoy it.