|Equipment & Vehicles|
|Main Operator:|| Paul Travers|
|Appearances:||Thunderbirds Are Go|
Zero X (short for Zero Altitude Launch Space Exploration Craft) was the designation given to a solar system exploration spaceship that appeared in the movie Thunderbirds Are Go. It comprises five components, all possessing their own flight capabilities.
Plans drawn up for the craft received approval in 2060, following which construction began on Zero X as well as a number of necessary facilities at Glenn Field to accomodate its manufacture and launch.
Initially, one Zero-X spaceship was built, but it was accidentally sabotaged by The Hood when he got his foot stuck in the trim hydraulic. This jammed the control system and Zero-X crash dived into the sea and exploded.
The second Zero-X was the same as the first. It was damaged by the Rock Snakes on Mars, and consequently required the help of International Rescue after suffering a circuit failure. Although they did manage to save the crew, the second Zero-X was destroyed upon crash-landing in Craigsville.
- Total delta velocity: 40 miles per second
- Standard acceleration: 1 g.
- Maximum acceleration: 10 g.
- Emergency acceleration: 15 g.
- Crew: normally five
- Manufacturer: New World Aircraft Corporation
- Weaponry: one blaster cannon, which is fitted to the MEV
- Main body: 8 variable-mode engines operating as chemical rockets in space, or as variable-cycle jet engines using air intakes in atmospheric flight. 2 pitch and yaw rockets.
- Lifting Body 1 & 2: 8 variable-cycle turbo ram jets. 4 under each wing. 5 centrally mounted variable-mode gas turbine jets. 2 wing-tip booster jet engines.
- Martian excursion vehicle: 2 chemical booster rockets. Variable mode gravity generator providing internal artificial gravity and additional lift and hover capabilities on planetary surfaces and during take-off.
- Nose cone: 2 Rosenthal-Hodge Dynamics sustainer rockets.
- Main body: Front and rear landing gears with a total of 40 wheels (4 bogies with 10 wheels each). The rear landing gear is only used for taxiing out onto the apron: it has to be retracted before Lifting Body 2 can be attached.
- Lifting Body 1: Two landing gears in the wing tip nacelles. Both are single bogies with 8 wheels each.
- Lifting Body 2: Five landing gears with a total of 36 wheels. Four are situated in the wings, and have 8 wheels each. The fifth, with four wheels, is located in the nosecone.
Lifting Bodies 1 and 2Edit
Both Lifting Bodies are virtually identical. The only major difference is the fact that Lifting Body 1's wingtips can fold down 90° to support the Zero X's aeroframe during takeoff - Lifting Body 2's cannot (and do not need to). Lifting Body 1 is attached on top of the spaceship just behind the MEV roof, while Lifting Body 2 is attached underneath the main engine section at the very rear of the ship.
Prior to launch, Zero X is fitted with a nose cone. Cahelium-bonded with ceramic additives, it is detachable and provides a heat-resistant shield during take-off and re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere. Computerised control systems allow the nose cone to be remotely controlled from Zero X of Glenn Field
After detaching from the craft in the upper atmosphere, the nose cone - with the aid of two jet engines, both of which provide thrust - makes its way back down to Earth in a controlled descent and land using its undercarriage. Upon Zero X’s return to Earth, the nose cone - utilising its jet engines - takes off to rendezvous with (and reconnect to) the spaceship.
Additionally the nose cone is equipped with external environment recorders and docking clamps.
Behind The ScenesEdit
- Two different-sized models were used during filming. They were so carefully crafted that in the finished movie, they can only be told apart by minutely examining their paneling lines.
- The large model of Zero-X (used for close-up shots of the craft) was around 7 feet (2.1 meters) long.
- Filming Zero-X II's destruction in Craigsville took around two days.
To date, no fewer than four cross-sections of Zero X exist. At least two of these were illustrated by Graham Bleathman; one featured in Supermarionation Cross-sections, and the other appeared in the 2017 Captain Scarlet Spectrum Agents' Manual.
As for the other two, one is believed to have been produced by Bleathman for a comic in the 1990s. The other appears online. Here is a link to a picture of the latter cutaway drawing: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/amp/pin/496592296386085957/.
- In Thunderbird 6 there is a scene where Lady Penelope reads a newspaper. One report reads: "ZEROX FINDS NEW LIFE ON SATURN?".
- Most, if not all of the instrument panels seen in the Zero-X cockpit were later reused as those of Skythrust in Alias Mr. Hackenbacker.
On its mission to Mars, the Zero-X had a crew of three, accompanied by two scientists.