Muscat – The first Omani satellite, Aman, was successfully prepared for its launch into the Low Earth Orbit, at Newquay, Cornwall, in the UK.
Integrated into a launch vehicle – the LauncherOne rocket – the satellite will be taken on its journey into space later this year. Satellite integration is a major step in meeting the objectives of Oman’s first space mission.
The Sultanate of Oman, represented by ETCO, an Oman-based emerging technology innovator; Virgin Orbit, a leading US-based satellite launch company, SatRev – Polish nanosatellite manufacturer and operator and TUATARA, specialists in advanced AI, data analytics and cognitive technology solutions, continue to work on Oman’s mission to space.
The work undertaken, led to the first Omani CubeSat satellite, Aman, integrated with the spacecraft during procedure conducted at Newquay Airport, in Cornwall. The Virgin Orbit integration team led the event, beginning with a final cleaning and checkout of the Omani satellite ensuring that the Remove Before Flight (RBF) items on the CubeSat were taken away. Once the satellite was prepared, it was placed in the launch dispenser, followed by a series of rigorous checks.
“Satellite integration marks an important milestone in the plan to send the first Omani spacecraft into space this year. It is encouraging to witness this first-of-its-kind project in the country’s history unfolding and we are looking forward to see it through to a final stage that will occur later this year when it will be launched into the low Earth orbit,” explained Abdulaziz Jaafar, ETCO Chief Executive Officer.
“Integration went as planned and it was a complete success. All risks have already been minimised due to the Fit-Check event that occurred during the previous month, where the same Virgin Orbit integration team was on-site at SatRev headquarters in Poland to perform a detailed walkthrough of all planned integration steps,” said Grzegorz Zwolinski, CEO SatRev.
“We are excited to have been invited to help analyse data from the Oman space mission. We believe, that the Aman project will not just provide important scientific data and stimulate the development of the STEM industry in the sultanate, but also inspire the world in the further democratisation of space exploration,” said Krzysztof Goworek, CEO, TUATARA.
“Our research will enable qualitative analysis of changes caused by climatic situations, natural disasters or other adverse events. It can also, for example, be used to track water polluters, animal movements or even the proliferation of harmful algae in coastal and inland waters. The possibilities are vast and a bright space-based future lies ahead for Oman,” he added.
The project fulfills Oman Vision 2040, a national programme aimed at fostering economic competitiveness and social well-being, stimulating growth and building confidence in all economic, social and developmental relations. Oman’s space programme will enable groundbreaking scientific research and capture high-resolution satellite images, which will be further analysed digitally using Computer Vision, Machine Learning, and AI solutions developed by TUATARA in strategic partnership with ETCO.
The Omani space project intends to provide long-lasting benefits and unlock new horizons for the next generation of world space explorers and innovators in the space sector, while investing in national talent that will build a promising future for Oman. Looking forward to delivering added value up and down the country, the project will encourage and support companies in Oman to accelerate its transformation into a space-related economy.