In December of 2256, the Icarus departed Station Prime on a two-week 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. 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 EAS 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. The ship's arrival 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, using an artifact dubbed ''the Egg'', and gave them a choice: either serve the Shadows willingly or become new central processing units for their ships. Except for Dr. Chang and Dr. Churlstein, who were killed, all except Morden refused, and it is implied they all used as processin units. The Icarus, right later, was made take off empty, send a distress call and blow in space.
- Capt. Hidalgo: Ship's captain.
- Dr. Chang: Expedition leader.
- Dr. Anna Sheridan: Xeno-archaeologist, ship's science officer.
- Dr. Favorito: Xeno-archaeologist
- Dr. Razor: Xeno-archaeologist
- Dr. Scott: Xeno-archaeologist
- Dr. Petrovich: Xeno-archaeologist
- Dr. Standish: Xeno-archaeologist
- Dr. Churlstein: Xeno-archaeologist
- Dr. Morden: Archaeo-lingüist and Earthforce New Technologies Division contractor.
- Ms. Donne: of Psi Corps.
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.