Oman intends to build the first space rocket launch center in the Middle East this year. However, it will take three years to complete the center fully.
Situated in the port town of Duqm, the Etlaq Space Launch Complex is a National Aerospace Services Company project that could visualize its ticket launch this year. The launch center will be accessible globally and available for local educational research programs.
The plans of Oman are expected to boost the space programs of the region. NASCOM(National Aerospace Services Company) plans to build the first Omani suborbital rocket to launch from the complex.
NASCOM said that the rockets would have hybrid-solid engines, ” much safer and environmentally friendly than the fuels used in liquid engines.” Also, rocket launches must inspire the youth to pursue careers in science and technology.
Oman also has further plans for building a space research center for assuming missions and science experiments. The project in the Duqm district’s Artificial Intelligence Zone is called the Space Settlement Centre. The center will enable pretending a space environment for studying the behavior of astronauts and conducting other connected research.
Private space companies like Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin have observed the Middle East, especially the Emirates, for spaceports.
But something has yet to materialize, even though the UAE’s space technique includes setting up a launch pad for space tourism flights.
The equatorial positioning makes it an ideal location for launching the rocket, as it can take advantage of the rotational speeds of the Earth.
Nascom said, “Internationally verified studies have identified that Wilayat Al – Duqm’s equatorial positioning makes it among the top 5 most efficient rocket launch latitudes in the world.”
The Duqm port was opened in February as a part of Oman’s efforts to diversify its economy and expand its infrastructure.
It was developed in partnership with Belgium’s Port of Antwerp and received a significant investment from China.
Oman’s space ambitions
Oman has big plans in space. It plans to build a space research center for predicting the missions and science experiments in the Duqm.
The project is called the Space Settlement Centre.
Bahiya Al Shuaibi, chief executive officer of Oman’s Global Space and Technology Company, said that the center would help scientists to carry out research.
She added, ” The project aims to boost a space environment to study the behavior of astronauts before joining the actual astronaut flights. “
” It will serve scientists, researchers, and those interested in doing experiments in the space sector, advanced technology, and artificial intelligence. ”
The Oman space program has had a shaky start. Its first satellite, Aman, was destroyed earlier this year during a failed Virgin Orbit Launch.
The report mentioned above states that Oman is set to launch its rocket from its first spaceport, which will be built in February 2022. It will be found at Duqm, the port at equatorial positioning, making an efficient position for a rocket launch.