Icarus Base was established on a planet in the Milky Way that was rich in the mineral naquadria, which was used as a power source to dial the ninth chevron on the Stargate. Unfortunately, due to the instability of naquadria, the Base and its planet were destroyed when energy blasts from an attack caused the core to go critical. (Stargate Universe: 1.01 "Air Part 1")
In Greek mythology, Icarus was "the son of Daedalus who, in escaping from Crete on artificial wings made for him by his father, flew so close to the sun that the wax with which his wings were fastened melted, and he fell into the Aegean Sea." (See Further Reading for citation.) The insignia for Icarus Base illustrates this myth with a feather from Icarus' wings near a sun.
Sometime around 2007, a planet was found in the Milky Way that had the powerful, yet highly unstable, naquadria at its core. If the energy could be harnessed correctly, the core could be used to provide the exorbitant amount of power needed to dial a nine-chevron address on the Stargate. This nine-chevron address was written about in the Ancient Database in Atlantis, but its destination was a mystery. (Stargate Universe: 1.01 "Air Part 1", 1.09 "Life"; Dr. Jackson on the Stargate Orientation Video)
Naquadria is used by the Stargate Program to generate the short-range hyperspace windows in their F-302 interceptors, but was found to be unsuitable for use in their battle cruisers (Prometheus and Daedalus-class starships) for prolonged hyperspace travel due to its instability (6.01 "Redemption Part 1", 6.02 "Redemption Part 2", 6.20 "Memento", 7.01 "Fallen Part 1"). A very specific and precise formula was needed to obtain the power from the planet's core while not causing the planet itself to explode. Dr. Nicholas Rush was put in charge of the Icarus Project to dial the nine-chevron address that was found in the Ancient Database, but he wasn't able to devise the correct mathematical formula to get the power drawn safely to the Stargate. (Stargate Universe: 1.01 "Air Part 1")
The United States was financing this two-year project at a cost of $1.6 billion. Senator Alan Armstrong was ready to give up on the Project when his daughter and aide, Chloe Armstrong, came up with the idea of how to get some of the world's top young minds working on the problem: embed the problem in an online video game called Prometheus and contact the person who eventually solves it. The idea proved a good one, and two years after the start of the Icarus Project, in 2009, Eli Wallace was recruited by Lt. Gen. Jack O'Neill and Rush almost as soon as he found the solution. (Stargate Universe: 1.01 "Air Part 1")
On the day that Sen. Armstrong, Chloe, and Eli arrived to Icarus Base (by beaming down from the Daedalus-class starship commanded by Col. Samantha Carter, the USS George Hammond), Dr. Rush immediately put Eli's formula in motion to dial the Stargate. The ninth symbol in the address, however, wouldn't lock and the connection failed. Rush used the Icarus Base's planet's symbol as the ninth symbol since the precedent was that it was the planet's point of origin that was used as the last symbol in all Stargate addresses. Col. Everett Young, the commander of Icarus Base, ordered that they shut down the dialing sequence that was continuing to draw power from the planet's core, risking an overload in the Stargate's capacitors. Insisting that the formula had to be correct, Eli proposed that perhaps the ninth chevron was not a point of origin, but Earth's symbol as part of a code rather than that of an address. (Stargate Universe: 1.01 "Air Part 1")
When the Base came under attack by the Lucian Alliance and the core's energy output started to show instability due to the enemy's energy weapons' blasts, Dr. Rush decided that dialing Earth was too risky because of the chance of an explosion's translating through the wormhole. He also felt he had only one more chance to find out where the ninth chevron led. He dialed the nine-symbol code suggested by Eli, using Earth's symbol as the ninth in the sequence. The connection worked in the nick of time as the core of the planet began to go irreversibly critical. Knowing that the planet's destruction was imminent, Carter recalled all the F-302s that were in the battle before escaping through hyperspace. The Base's shielding prevented her from beaming people off the planet, but her ship's sensors picked up the fact that the Stargate had been activated and she assumed that they had dialed Earth to evacuate. (Stargate Universe: 1.01 "Air Part 1")
Within only six minutes, the entire Base evacuated through the Stargate to the unknown destination before the planet blew apart, taking out the entire attacking fleet in the massive explosion. Remarkably, the nine-chevron code took around 80 survivors to the long-abandoned Ancient exploration ship Destiny, billions of light years away from Earth. (Stargate Universe: 1.01 "Air Part 1")
- Lt. Gen. Jack O'Neill
- Col. Samantha Carter
- Senator Alan Armstrong
- Chloe Armstrong
- Dr. Nicholas Rush
- Eli Wallace
- Col. Everett Young
- Ancient Database in Atlantis
- Daedalus-Class Ship
- Lucian Alliance
- Prometheus Video Game
- Stargate Program
- USS George Hammond
- 6.01 "Redemption Part 1"
- 6.02 "Redemption Part 2"
- 6.20 "Memento"
- 7.01 "Fallen Part 1"
- SGU 1.09 "Life"
- Dictionary.com, "icarus," in The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Source location: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/icarus. Available: http://dictionary.reference.com. Accessed: October 09, 2009.
--DeeKayP 22:15, 9 October 2009 (UTC)