Pact signed to strengthen Oman's space industry

Oman Tuesday 25/June/2024 18:53 PM
By: Times News Service
Pact signed to strengthen Oman's space industry

Muscat: The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) hosted the signing of an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the US based satellite launch company ABL Space Systems, and Etlaq spaceport. The ceremony was attended by CAA President Naif Al-Abri along with Ana Escrogima, the United States Ambassador to Oman.

Under the MoU, ABL and Etlaq will explore launching ABL’s RS1 launch vehicle from the Etlaq Spaceport, bringing orbital satellite launch capability to the Gulf region. The initial project focus is on evaluating local logistics and site construction, as well as developing regulatory and export control frameworks with both the US and Oman governments.

The Etlaq Spaceport located at 18-degree latitude, is expected to be operational in 2027 and will provide wide orbital access from sun synchronous to low inclination orbits. The nearby commercial airport and deepwater port in Duqm provide critical logistical capabilities to serve these satellite missions. The spaceport will strengthen the Sultanate’s space sector and position Oman as a regional and global leader in the space industry.

Harry O'Hanley, CEO of ABL, expressed his pleasure at signing the MOU, saying, "The Gulf region space ecosystem is growing immensely, with new investment and large ambition in exploration, science missions and constellation deployment. These efforts all benefit from local access to space and we’re excited by the opportunity to partner with Etlaq and the Sultanate of Oman to help provide this capability.”

His Highness Sayyid Azzan bin Qais Al Said, CEO of Etlaq, highlighted the importance of this partnership stating, "We are proud of getting to this milestone with ABL Space Systems, and it reflects our commitment to developing the space sector in Oman. We believe that this MOU is a step in the right direction for us to position our spaceport as a global choice for established rocket companies."

This signing marks a significant step towards achieving Oman’s goals in developing the local space sector, as well as enhancing international cooperation in space.