ICARUS Cosmonaut Training has started

Published by Max Planck Institute on Wed, 01/10/2018 - 09:48

End of December 2017 Russian News confirmed: The ICARUS cosmonaut training has started. 

"The members of the new crew of ISS-56 in the Center of training cosmonauts trained to go into space to install on an external surface of the station equipment of the ICARUS experiment for the study of migrations of wild animals, the release may take place after may 2018, according to the message of the cosmonaut training Center (CTC) named after Gagarin."

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ICARUS lifts off

Published by Max Planck Institute on Sat, 10/14/2017 - 13:38

At 10:46 CET today, a Soyuz-2 rocket lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Its cargo includes the Icarus onboard computer, the future brain of the German-Russian animal observation system. 


The central computer unit of Icarus will be installed in the pressurized cabin of the ISS international space station’s Russian module. In future, it will be responsible for decoding the signals received by the Icarus antenna and separating the different data streams from each other.

The plan is for the onboard computer to be connected and switched on after the antenna goes into operation at the beginning of February 2018. The researchers working with Martin Wikelski from the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology can then test the communication chain between the onboard computer and the user data centre on Earth for the first time and – if necessary – remedy any teething troubles.

A new era in behaviour research is dawning with the Icarus global animal observation system of Martin Wikelski from the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology. Researchers will then be able to observe the migration of small animals around the globe, investigate the spread of diseases, and maybe even forecast natural disasters.


The next steps for ICARUS are already planned:

  • Dec. 2017:                       Short functional tests and packing of the Antenna Block at RSCE/Moscow
  • Jan. 2018:                        Shipment of the ICARUS equipment to Baikonur and pre-launch tests
  • Jan. 2018:                        Start of the crew training in Moscow
  • 11. Feb. 2018:                  Launch of the Antenna Block at Baikonur
  • March/Apr. 2018:             Flight of the trained Cosmonauts to the ISS
  • May/July 2018:                 EVA (Space Walk) and implementation of the ICARUS hardware at the ISS, Russian MS-Module
  • July 2018:                         Start of the ICARUS operational phase


More information at www.animal-sensors.mpg.de/en

1.ICARUS user workshop and successful tag testing, 23.-24.09.2017 in Konstanz

Published by Max Planck Institute on Wed, 09/27/2017 - 10:39

More than 80 international scientists from all over the world attended the 1.ICARUS user workshop from 23.-24.09. at the Konzil in Konstanz where we had a first and successful testing of the ICARUS tag prototype.

Testing of the ICARUS flight hardware successfully finalized

Published by Max Planck Institute on Fri, 06/02/2017 - 14:00

All partners (Roscosmos, DLR, RSCE, STI, MPIO and I-GOS) met from 29.5.-2.6.2017 at Lake Constance to hold the German part of the acceptance test of the ICARUS flight model. The ICARUS hardware will now be shipped to Moscow for the final tests in July. Ready for launch, the ICARUS flight model will then be transported to Baikonur approximately one month prior to the launch in October.

Successful Acceptance Test of the ICARUS Qualification Model

Published by Max Planck Institute on Tue, 02/21/2017 - 10:18

Roscosmos, DLR, RSCE, MPIO, I-GOS and STI have held a successful meeting on February 16th to conduct the first part of the acceptance test of the qualification model of ICARUS (QM AT 1) and coordinate the future milestones of the project.
Due to the failue of the December Progress Launch, there is a complicated situation with respect to the resources on the ISS. This situation has caused a delay for the ICARUS launch. Instead of the June 15th date, we expect the confirmation of the ICARUS launch date now for October 12th, 2017.