The Middle East is set to become a major player in the space industry this year, as Oman plans to build the region’s first space rocket launch centre. Located in the port town of Duqm, the Etlaq Space Launch Complex has been proposed by the National Aerospace Services Company and could potentially see its first rocket launch as early as next year.
The centre is expected to take three years to fully complete and will offer a huge boost to the region’s space programmes. Companies like Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin have long eyed the Middle East, particularly the Emirates, for spaceports, but so far nothing has materialised. With the new launch pad in Oman, private companies and government agencies will be able to make use of it for orbital launches.
Oman has big plans in the space industry, and the Space Settlement Centre in the Duqm district’s Artificial Intelligence Zone will be used for simulation missions and science experiments. Bahiya Al Shuaibi, chief executive officer of Oman’s Global Space and Technology Company, said the centre will help scientists carry out vital research.
The launch centre in Duqm is an ambitious and exciting project that could be a game-changer for the region. It will open up the possibility for private companies to launch rockets and satellites, and for government agencies to conduct space research. It could also be a huge boost for the local economy, creating jobs and opportunities for businesses in the region.
This is an exciting development for the Middle East and the prospect of a space rocket launch centre in Oman is an exciting one. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for the region’s space industry.
The Spaceport will play a crucial role in helping Oman achieve its ambitions to become a major player in the international space industry. It will enable the country to develop its own space infrastructure and launch rockets to explore the outer reaches of the solar system, potentially leading to the discovery of new worlds and scientific breakthroughs.
This ambitious project is a symbol of Oman’s commitment to advancing science and technology, and could position the country to become a leading player in the global space industry. The launch centre will provide a platform for Oman to collaborate with other countries and encourage the development of new space-related technologies. It will also create jobs and economic opportunities for Omanis, as well as encourage investments in the country’s science and technology sector.
The launch centre will be a major milestone for Oman’s space exploration program and could be a launching pad for more ambitious projects in the future. It could potentially open the door for Oman to become a leader in the field of space exploration and lay the groundwork for a new era of space exploration and discovery.
Edit — 13 jan 2023:
Today, Sweden officially inaugurated and opened its first ever space port, the first space launch facility on the European continent. The site is part of the Esrange Space Center in the Swedish Arctic, a 5,200 square kilometer uninhabited area some 40 kilometers (25 miles) away from the city of Kiruna. Around 15 million euros have been invested in the program; the new space port will operate as a complement to the European space hub in Kourou, French Guiana. The first launch managed by the Swedish Space Corporation (SSC), a state-controlled company, is scheduled for the first quarter of 2024.
In addition to launching rockets carrying mini satellites (mini and nano satellites) which is a booming market (it is expected that over 10,000 mini satellites will be launched by 2040 and over 100,000 by then), the Swedish space port will also be used to test the reusable rocket Themis, a program managed by the European Space Agency (ESA), with boosters that, after lifting the rocket carrier, return to Earth perfectly controlled, following the same pattern as those used by SpaceX.