Thunderbird 3 launch bay
he silo housing Thunderbird 3 is the farthest from the Tracy home. The method of approach differs accordingly but the few minutes longer taken by the astronaut to board the craft are of no account when weighed against the lengthy voyages it undertakes in space. Like the others, the launchbay is compact and businesslike, function being the keynote of design.
The top of the silo is camouflaged by the suntrap Round House.
Tucked behind the steel sides of the silo are the servicing mechanisms. This portion (1) houses the electrical gear and the atomic generators. The hatch (2) conceals retractable arms which swing out carrying the heavy high tension cables. The control panels are on the gallery below (3).
Thunderbird 3 returns to the silo by landing vertically. To this effect the radar which tracks her climb is also used as a landing aid, computer linked to position the returning rocket squarely on the columns. Electronic eyes (F
, on the right) further assist this operation.
If the rocket's reactors are run for any length of time during maintenance and testing, considerable heat collects round the cooling vanes on the fuselage. Outside air is refrigerated and blown through the tilting heads of these cooling fans.
Launch bay specifications orginally published in British Annual