For rescues beyond the Earth's atmosphere, the elegant, fast spaceship Thunderbird 3 is brought into action. Housed in a silo beneath the Round House on Tracy Island, TB3 also serves as International Rescue's vital link between its home base and its orbital listening-post, the space station Thunderbird 5.
The departure regimen begins with astronaut Alan Tracy taking a seat on the settee in the lounge of the Tracy Villa. His brother Scott usually accompanies him, as co-pilot. Tin-Tin (Sun Probe) or Brains (Danger At Ocean Deep) may also be needed, for the space rescue to come. When all are in readiness, Alan presses a concealed button. On the signal the settee lowers through the floor, to the waiting trolley below.
As the trolley begins its swift journey, an identical settee slides onto the lift and quickly rises to the lounge as a replacement.
Thunderbird 3's Silo
The astronauts are carried along the track, and into the huge silo containing Thunderbird 3 itself. Coming to rest directly below the spaceship, the settee is then lifted up through the central Entry Hatch - and up to the lounge-level of TB3, where it locks into position. The lift retracts, and the spaceship is sealed.
Preparations For Lift-off
As his passengers secure themselves for launch, Alan enters the elevator, which takes him up to the control cabin. He quickly changes into uniform, and engages the automatic countdown. At the same time, the silo door below the Round House opens - revealing blue sky and white clouds, far overhead. While the trolley retracts into the tunnel, natural daylight floods the vast interior of the silo.
Finally, the spacecraft lifts off through the open center of the blast-proof Round House, on its way into space. Specialized sensing gear, built into the silo's wall-structure, aids in protecting both TB3 and the Round House itself from any risk of colliding with each other.