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Oman’s first satellite set for launch

9 Jan 2023

Newquay, UK – The first Omani satellite, Aman, is ready and set to launch into low Earth orbit from Spaceport Cornwall, in the UK.

The window for mission is opening at 2:16am (Omani time) on Tuesday, with additional back-up dates in mid and late January. The satellite will be set off for its historic mission aboard the LauncherOne rocket, a modified Virgin Boeing 747 jet.

Oman, represented by ETCO – an Oman-based emerging technology innovator – Virgin Orbit, SatRev and TUATARA have been working together to launch the first Omani nanosatellite.

SatRev is a Polish nanosatellite manufacturer and operator and TUATARA is a specialists in AI, data analytics and cognitive technology solutions.

“This is an extraordinary day not only for the Omani people, it is also a huge leap in the democratisation of the space. It is another step in building the modern, innovative, and knowledge-based society in the sultanate. I believe that with the data obtained from the analysis of satellite imagery, we will be able to provide vital scientific boost to the society and STEM industry in the whole GCC region,” said Krzysztof Goworek, CEO of TUATARA.

Alongside other commercial satellites, Aman was loaded onto the Boeing 747-400 aircraft carrier, and the LauncherOne system, as a part of Virgin Orbit’s “Start Me Up” space mission. Seven separate satellite payloads from multiple countries are included: one from Oman, one from Poland and five from the UK.

The “Start Me Up” space mission is a launch of firsts: the first space mission commencing from the United Kingdom; the first international launch for Virgin Orbit; the first ever commercial launch from Western Europe and Oman’s first orbital mission.

Through its space programme, the Sultanate of Oman will be able to conduct ground-breaking research, collecting high-resolution satellite photos, which will be further digitally evaluated utilizing Computer Vision, Machine Learning, and AI technologies created by TUATARA in collaboration with ETCO.

Oman’s space programme does not stop here. The launch of the Aman satellite into low Earth orbit, is a first step in Oman’s space journey. In 2021, the document signed by all participating companies agreed that more satellites would be sent to space in the future, including a first mission into deep space, providing Oman with data and solutions that will enhance the development of the local space market, build data monetization solutions, and fast track the country’s economic growth.

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