Thunderbird 3' is a red reusable, vertically- launched SSTO (Single Stage To Orbit) spaceship, which appears in the TV series Thunderbirds. It's used for space rescues, and in conjunction with International Rescues orbital listening-post, Thunderbird 5.

Technical data

  • Type: Space rescue and satellite shuttle craft
  • Designer: Brains
  • Built: 2024 or 2063


  • Length: 287 feet
  • Nacelle span: 80 feet
  • Diameter: 23 feet
  • Weight: 562 tons


  • Power source: Atomic fusion reactor
  • Engines: 3 chemical rockets (used for launch), 3 ion-drive particle accelerators (used in deep space)
  • Pitch and yaw rockets: 12 in middle ring (for course-correction), 20 in nose and 24 at rear (for attitude adjustment)


  • Standard acceleration: 1g
  • Max sustained acceleration: 6g
  • Emergency acceleration: 10g
  • Range: Unlimited

Crew and Accommodation

Alan Tracy is TB3's primary pilot. He and his brother John trade duties aboard TB3 and TB5 every other month. Big brother Scott often co-pilots.

John is seen at TB3's controls, as he arrives at TB5 in The Mighty Atom.

Their brother Virgil takes a break from his usual Thunderbird 2 duties, for a turn at piloting TB3, in Ricochet.

But it's in space-rescue scenarios, that IR's big red rocket truly shines - as it does in Sun Probe, The Impostors and Ricochet. TB3 is also seen escorting the massive Mars-bound Zero-X safely on its way from Earth orbit, in the film Thunderbirds Are Go.

Launch Sequence

Main article: Thunderbird 3 Launch Sequence



  • As Thunderbirds 1 and 3 are rarely deployed simultaneously, Alan gets the call to pilot TB1 - while Scott is acting IR boss in their father Jeff 's absence - in the episode Atlantic Inferno.


Thunderbird 3 on Thunderbirds Wiki:

Thunderbirds logo

International Rescue: Jeff Tracy | Scott Tracy | Virgil Tracy | Alan Tracy | Gordon Tracy | John Tracy | Brains | Tin-Tin Kyrano | Lady Penelope Creighton-Ward | Aloysius Parker
Others: Lucille Tracy | Kyrano | Grandma Tracy | The Hood

TV Series Episodes:
Season 1
Trapped In The Sky | Pit of Peril | The Perils Of Penelope | Terror In New York City | Edge Of Impact | Day Of Disaster | 30 Minutes After Noon | Desperate Intruder | End Of The Road | The Uninvited | Sun Probe | Operation Crash-Dive | The Mighty Atom | City of Fire | The Impostors | The Man From MI.5 | Cry Wolf | Danger at Ocean Deep | Move - And You're Dead | The Duchess Assignment | Brink Of Disaster | Attack of the Alligators! | Martian Invasion | The Cham-Cham | Security Hazard Season 2
Atlantic Inferno | Path of Destruction | Alias Mr. Hackenbacker | Lord Parker's 'Oliday | Ricochet | Give Or Take A Million

Thunderbirds Are Go | Thunderbird 6

Young Corgi | The Vault

Tracy Island | Creighton-Ward Mansion

Thunderbird 1 | Thunderbird 2 (Pod Vehicles: Mole | Firefly | DOMO | Elevator Cars | Transmitter Truck | Recovery Vehicles | Monobrake | Excavator | Mobile Crane | Fire Truck | Laser Cutter | Thunderizer | Neutralizer Tractor | Jet-Air Transporter | Fire Tender | Yellow Trailer Truck | Red and Black Truck | Red Curved Vehicle) | Thunderbird 3 | Thunderbird 4 | Thunderbird 5 | Thunderbird 6
Other Craft and Vehicles
FAB 1 | FAB 2

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