IKAROS (Interplanetary Kite-craft Accelerated by Radiation Of the Sun) is a Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency ( JAXA) experimental spacecraft. The spacecraft was launched on 21 May 2010, aboard an H-IIA rocket, together with the Akatsuki (Venus Climate Orbiter) probe and four other small spacecraft. IKAROS is the first spacecraft to successfully demonstrate solar sail technology in interplanetary space.
On 8 December 2010, IKAROS passed by Venus at about distance, completing the planned mission successfully, and entered its extended operation phase.
'Ikaros is an ancient Greek city on Failaka Island, in the Persian Gulf.
Remains of the settlement include a large Hellenistic fort and two Greek temples. It may have been a trading post ( emporion) of the kingdom of Characene.