The Icarus was an exploratory spacecraft owned by Interplanetary Expeditions.
In December of 2256 the Icarus departed Station Prime on an archaeological and scientific mission to a planet out on the Rim codenamed Alpha Omega 3. Unusually well funded, the expedition had a budget four times greater than similar missions, and the ship carried aboard some of the most advanced equipment available at the time. Later, the ship disappeared and was presumed destroyed. It would later emerge that the Icarus's destination was Z'ha'dum, the ancient homeworld of the Shadows, and the arrival of the ship resulted in the Shadows being prematurely awakened from their centuries-long hibernation. Not ready to be exposed to the younger races so soon, the Shadows captured the ship's company and crew and gave them a choice: either serve the Shadows willingly or become new central processing units for their ships.
Departing Station Prime in December 2256, the Icarus made its way via jumpgate to as close to the Rim as the beacon system would allow before rendezvousing with the Explorer-class ship De Soto, which took the Icarus as close to Alpha Omega 3 as was convenient. The crew traveled the last twenty-day stretch in normal space before landing on the surface of the planet.
In 2259, while under the influence of an energy being, Captain John Sheridan witnessed the destruction of the Icarus.
Behind the Scenes
In the commentary for "Z'ha'dum" JMS states that Icarus was named for the hero from Greek mythology, the man who flew too close to the sun and whose wax wings melted and caused him to fall to his death, here the Icarus flew too close to the First Ones (the Shadows, in this case) and got burned in a similar fashion; no one made it off the planet the same as they arrived.
Although it would have been reasonable to assume that Justin came to Z'ha'dum on the Icarus, JMS has stated that this is not so.
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