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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Oman to focus on National Policy for Space

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The annual media meeting of the Ministry of Transport, Communications, and Information Technology revealed a number of policies that the ministry is working on this year, including the National Policy for Space and Space Science as one of the areas of exclusive focus in the digital field.


Dr. Ali bin Amer al Shethani, Undersecretary for Communication and Information Technology, said, "Space and astronomy are among areas in which Omanis have excelled since ancient times. Various institutions worked and excelled. The issuance of the ministry's decree, however, gave a new direction to the competencies to develop the space sector. It was important to monitor this field and define its strategic direction," he said and hinted at the possibilities of the launch of space rockets, the use of artificial satellites for urban planning, and many others.


Regarding the Sultanate of Oman's position, Dr. Al Shethani said, "It is necessary to focus on certain areas to invest in the capabilities that the country enjoys, whether scientific, tourism, or space experiments that took place earlier. You should be watchful of the developments to be announced this year.


"The National Space Policy defines the facts to be focused and announced this year," he confirmed.


The government took part in many agreements in the field by issuing relevant decrees to serve the goals and requirements of economic development, including Royal Decree 76/2021 approving the Accession of the Sultanate of Oman to the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies; Royal Decree 77/2021 approving the accession of the Sultanate of Oman to the Convention on Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space; Royal Decree 78/2021 approving the Accession of the Sultanate of Oman to the Agreement on the Rescue of Astronauts, the Return of Astronauts and the Return of Objects Launched into Outer Space; and Royal Decree 79/2021 Approving the Accession of the Sultanate of Oman to the Convention on International Liability for Damage Caused by Space Objects.


On October 27, 2021, the Emerging Global Technology Company "ETCO" signed a memorandum of understanding to manufacture satellite parts in the country with the Italian company D-Orbit, on the sidelines of the Sultanate of Oman's participation in the International Space Conference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.


The memorandum of understanding, which came with the support of the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology, stipulates the establishment of a facility to manufacture parts for small and medium satellites and space logistics in the Sultanate of Oman through the transfer of Italian knowledge and expertise in this field and the localization of knowledge through promoting the qualification and development of young Omani competencies in a plan that extends for three years.


It is hoped that this project, which is the first of its kind in the Sultanate of Oman, will contribute to establishing a national base of competencies in the space industries and attract greater investments in this advanced sector.


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