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Oman plans space rocket launch station in Duqm

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The Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology announced an upcoming scientific space rocket launch platform in Duqm as part of its space sector executive programme.

The project is a collaboration between the Ministry, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning and National Space Services Company (NASCOM).

In a symposium titled Omani Space Sector: "Future Directions and Investment Opportunities, the Ministry signed a usufruct contract for the rocket launch project.

According to the Ministry, the launch platform, which will be open to researchers and hobbyists, aims to develop scientific environments for scientists and researchers in the field as well as to attract hobbyists and boost sectoral tourism.

The Ministry also unveiled various investment opportunities in the space sector as part of its executive plan.

Dr Saoud Humaid Salim al Shuaili, DG of Policies & Governance Department and Head of the National Space at the Ministry shared: “The space sector has witnessed a great growth in terms of private sector investments in the recent years.” “The number of countries that have invested in the sector in 2020 was 82 countries. Previously, if we go back to the days of the Cold War, perhaps four countries invested in the space sector, and it was monopolised by governments and not the private sector. This is the second change, the investment of the private sector within the space industry which exceeds the investments of governments,” he added.

According to Al Shuaili, space cloud partnerships, grounding stations hub, direct receiving stations, and national space data platform and end-user application booster programmes (sandbox), are amongst the various space sector initiatives that will be open to investors.

Investment opportunities will be offered via the National Program for Investment & Export Development.

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