Muscat – The Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation announced the identification of potential space launch sites in the sultanate on Monday.
This groundbreaking development marks a milestone in Oman’s involvement in space exploration and commerce. The announcement was made at a ceremony to honour the participants of a research study project titled ‘Finding the Best Space Launching Sites in Oman’.
Held under the patronage of H E Dr Rahma bint Ibrahim al Mahrouqi, Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, the event was attended by several senior officials and researchers.
A visual presentation detailed the stages of the study’s implementation and the challenges encountered in pinpointing the appropriate sites. After an exhaustive 18-month investigation, the team identified optimal locations in Oman for setting up spacecraft launch platforms for commercial purposes.
Speaking at the event, Hamad bin Nasser al Shukaili, Director of National Space Programme Department at the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology, said, “The research study project is related to identifying the best launch sites in Oman that support achieving the goals of the national space programme and policy. We aim for the sultanate to be the gateway for regional space applications supporting economic diversification.”
Bahiya al Shuaibi, founder and CEO of Global Space and Technology Company, elaborated on the importance of the space sector to the sultanate and emphasised that the idea of establishing spacecraft launch pads for commercial purposes resulted from recognition of the significance of the sector and the benefits to will bring to wider society.
The study identifies various sites suitable for space launches, including platforms on land and offshore locations.
The study followed international standards factoring in multiple aspects, including impact on climate, geology, infrastructure and the economic factors for spacecraft launch pads.
The event on Monday concluded with an awards ceremony recognising 24 researchers for their efforts in conducting the important study.
The study is in line with the objectives of Global Space and Technology Company, which is working on developing the space sector in Oman. By creating ambitious space science programmes and pursuing advanced scientific and technical projects, the company is ensuring the sultanate becomes a vital part of this rapidly evolving sector globally.