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ICARUS unfolds its wings

On August 15, two Russian cosmonauts unfolded the ICARUS antenna on the International Space Station, ushering in a new era for the science of animal migration

For five years, the dream of the ICARUS (International Cooperation for Animal Research Using Space) Initiative has been to observe global migratory movements of small animals through a satellite system.

Now, that dream is a reality, after cosmonauts Sergei Valeriyevich Prokopyev and Oleg Germanovich Artemyev unfolded the ICARUS antenna on the International Space Station (ISS) on August 15.

The antenna’s installation marks the completion of the ICARUS system, devised and led by Martin Wikelski from the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology.

With a dedicated antenna now installed on the ISS, ICARUS will allow for the previously impossible global tracking of small animals, via lightweight solar-powered tags, almost anywhere on the planet.This will enable scientists to obtain unparalleled data on collectives, their movements, physiology, and the social and physical environment in the wild.

ICARUS is a collaboration between the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, the Russian space agency (Roscosmos) and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) Space Administration.

Read the full press release on the space walk from the Max Planck Institute here.