|Equipment & Vehicles|
|Top Speed:||25,200 mph (escape velocity)|
|Main Operator:|| Alan Tracy (Primary Pilot)|
John Tracy (Secondary Pilot)
Scott Tracy (co-pilot)
Tin-Tin Kyrano (co-pilot)
Thunderbird 3 is International Rescue's single stage to orbit (SSTO) space vehicle designed for space rescue and maintaining the systems and crew of Thunderbird 5. Like all the Thunderbird machines, it was designed by Brains. Its main pilot is Alan Tracy, with his brother, Scott, usually acting as co-pilot.
Thunderbird 3 uses chemical rockets for lift-off and boost, an ion drive for propulsion while in space and chemical retro rockets for reverse thrust in space. It could travel from Earth to within range of the Sun in 65 hours.
There are a number of levels within Thunderbird 3 accessed via a single person lift. The primary cockpit is located at the uppermost level and contained the primary control console, seating for two and airlock access. A second room contains rescue equipment, including a control console for long range transmissions such as a safety beam that can be used to trigger retros of distant space ships.
It is primary pilot is designated as Alan Tracy, although John is presumed to pilot Thunderbird 3 during space rescue when Alan is on satellite duty. Virgil has also been seen piloting Thunderbird 3 during a maintenance mission to Thunderbird 5 in Ricochet.
The interior of Thunderbird 3 was originally decorated in beige, red and light grey colours, however like all of the Thunderbirds, it underwent redecoration and refitting to a darker colour scheme and more comfortable and secure seating.
Engines: 3 chemical rockets used for launch, landing, emergency boost, and orbit change; 3 ion-drive particle accelerators used in deep space; pitch and yaw rockets: 12 in middle ring for course corrections, 20 in nose and 24 at rear for attitude adjustments
Emergency acceleration: 10 g
Launch thrust: 4.5 million pounds
Length: 287 feet
Main body diameter: 23 feet
Maximum sustained acceleration: 6 g
Nacelle span: 80 feet
Power source: atomic fusion reactor
Standard acceleration: 1 g
Weight: 562 tons
Launch Sequence Edit
- Main article: Thunderbird 3/Launch Sequence
- Main article: Thunderbird 3/Docking Procedure
- Main article: Thunderbird 3/Missions
- Thunderbird 3's Main Control Room gets a complete redesign in Ricochet.
- Thunderbird 3 is the most rarely seen and used of the Thunderbirds.
- This may have been because outer space rescue missions would have been too difficult to both write and film. Thunderbird 3 only had three rescue operations that were all relatively simple, and Thunderbird 2 was added to two of the missions to provide vital help. Consequently, Gerry Anderson said he didn't find Thunderbird 3 exciting.
- Some shots of Thunderbird 3 taking off has a different font of the number 3 to shots of it flying through space.
- Despite being the pilot of Thunderbird 3 every other month, John Tracy was never seen piloting it in a rescue mission.
- The original Thunderbird 3 is ultimately destroyed by the The Hood's henchmen in the TV21 comic, Brains Is Dead. The original Thunderbird 2 is also destroyed by the Hood's henchmen in the same story.