This is a list of the missions that Thunderbird 3 took part in, including relief flights to Thunderbird 5. Flights to Thunderbird 5 were Thunderbird 3's main use in the series, only three times has it been seen in a rescue capacity.
The Sun Probe rocket is launched with a crew of 3 to collect matter from the sun, the radiation of which corrupts the rocket's control systems and renders it unable to turn back. Thunderbird 3, with Alan, Scott and Tin-Tin on board, is launched into space to transmit a signal that will activate the Sun Probe's retros. They succeed, but only after getting so close, that Thunderbird 3's own retros fail, giving it the same problem that requires the same solution, which was luckily provided by the Transmitter Truck.
The Mighty AtomEdit
Thunderbird 3, with her launch sequence unseen, was used to take John back to Thunderbird 5, replacing Alan. Thanks to Lady Penelope arriving on Tracy Island, John showed up rather late. Despite this, Alan arrived home just in time to visit Penelope, and prank her with his siblings.
Thunderbird 3 was needed to pick up an astronaut, Elliot, who had drifted away from his satellite with only three hours worth of oxygen on him. During this time, however, a worldwide manhunt for International Rescue was under way because they were framed for the theft of the AL4 Project plans. If Thunderbird 3 were to take off, it would be caught by a UN scanning satellite and the rescue organisation would be history. Jeff reluctantly decided not to send Elliot any help unless Lady Penelope could expose the true thieves in time, but as too much time passed without such results, his conscience could take no more. He ordered Alan and Scott to save Elliot in spite of the manhunt. However, as luck would have it, the satellite that would have pinpointed their location couldn't do so as it was without an occupant, Elliot himself! And, as luck would have it again, the real thieves were caught after Thunderbird 3 had recovered Elliot, so the manhunt was called off and the rescue rocket could return to base without being detected.
Danger At Ocean DeepEdit
Thunderbird 3 and 5, inadvertently, were vital to the rescue of those sailing the Ocean Pioneer ll.
After Scott and Virgil take off in Thunderbirds 1 and 2 to prevent a hospital from collapsing, their messages back to Tracy Island suffer from intense interference. Alan was already due to take off in Thunderbird 3 to visit Thunderbird 5 and swap jobs with John for a month, but thanks to the transmission issues, Jeff sent him off early, and with Brains on-board.
Once in Thunderbird 5, Brains records the interference on tape, and returns to Tracy Island with John in order to trace it. Luckily, Scott and Virgil also return from their rescue mission, which was successful despite the communications black out.
Brains' experiments with the tape lead him to discover that radio communication could be cut off by high impedance waves caused by the close proximity of two peculiar substances; OD-60, and alsterene. He also learns that if the two substances are close enough, it can cause an explosion, the size of which depends on how much OD 60 and alsterene there is. Jeff then realizes that this kind of explosion is what truly happened to the Ocean Pioneer, and that the same is about to happen to it's successor.
Thunderbird 3 once again is seen docked with Thunderbird 5 for a monthly job swap between Alan and John. The two spend some time together in the satellite, listening to the latest hit, Dangerous Game. Whilst enjoying the music, they then hear live transmissions (not intended for International Rescue) coming from the USAF, claiming that unidentified fighter jets have shot down the RTL-2 for a third time, leading Alan to believe there may be more to this music than meets the ear.
As a "flashback episode", Thunderbird 3 is seen via footage from Sun Probe, as the story of how the Sun Probe was saved is retold. The story retelling wasn't the exact same as the actual event, however, as there was no mention of the part where Thunderbird 3's retros failed.
RicochetEditSentinel Base launches it's latest satellite rocket, the Telsat 4, but it's manual control systems and separation mechanisms fail, and so the rocket is detonated. The KLA, a two-man pirate satellite unmonitored by International Space Control, happened to be in the vicinity of the explosion, resulting in it being knocked out of orbit towards the Earth. Tin-Tin, being a fan of the station, heard the calls for help coming from it, and Thunderbird 3 was used to evacuate the crew before it re-entered Earth's atmosphere.
Give Or Take A MillionEdit
Thunderbird 3 was launched by Alan at the request of Nicky, a boy who won a visit to International Rescue's base during a Christmas contest at the Coralville Children's Hospital. It was Nicky's "Christmas wish" to see Thunderbird 3 take off, or it became his wish, as his initial wish to see the others launched simultaneously was said by Jeff Tracy (posing as Santa) to be impossible. Nevertheless, Nicky was highly satisfied with seeing Thunderbird 3 launch, calling it the greatest thrill of his life.
Thunderbirds Are Go (Film)Edit
Thunderbirds 1, 2, and 3 are launched after being assigned to escort the Zero-X spacecraft as it leaves the atmosphere on a journey to Mars, after a previous attempt at launching Zero-X was sabotaged by The Hood. This second time, Scott finds The Hood trying to vandilise the launch again, but he manages to escape after being caught. Scott summons Lady Penelope to chase him down. After Parker shoots The Hood, and presumably kills him, Zero-X launches without further incident.