As revealed exclusively last weekend at the FAB Worlds of Anderson, Thunderbird 3 has been to space! Photos of the Thunderbird 3 in space were revealed in FAB Live 24. Who needs Thunderbirds 5 when you’ve got friends in high places… like on the International Space Station!
Thunderbird 3 has now been into space and returned safely! In his personal items, the latest ESA astronaut aboard the ISS, Alexander Gerst, took a tiny model TB3 which orbited the Earth about 3000 times. Alex took a couple of photos of it inside the cupola of the ISS which you can see here exclusively. You can also hear us talk about this on Pod 53 of the Gerry Anderson Podcast.
The Thunderbird 3 made its way to space thanks to the European Space Agency’s director of human and robotic exploration David Parker. As a child of the sixties and seventies, David is one of the generations of viewers who fell in love with and were influenced by Gerry Anderson’s creations.
After training in aeronautical engineering he has worked for nearly thirty years in the space industry and is currently director of space exploration at the European Space Agency, where his team includes the European Astronaut Corps (including Tim Peake).
When sending in the photos, David said:
So, the 2 pictures are taken inside the cupola – which is like a goldfish bowl with multiple windows. Alex used a fish-eye lens to get the Earth beneath the ISS in view.
The first one is perfectly framed to look like TB3 is on the outside of the ISS next to a visiting Cygnus cargo spacecraft!
We’re absolutely honoured that David made this request of Alex Gerst, and we’re certain that Gerry Anderson himself would have been thrilled to know that one of his creations had been into space and returned safely. Alex even wrote David a card…
So thank you David for arranging for it and sharing the great photos of Thunderbird 3 in space!