Saturday, June 03, 2023 | Dhu al-Qaadah 13, 1444 H
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A Sultanate of Oman in the space race


Early January is always special, not only because it brings hopeful vibes for beautiful beginning but also because it’s associated with global and national major events.

Nationally, the Sultanate of Oman commemorates the late Sultan Qaboos, the founder of modern Oman and celebrates the promise of renewed growth and progress with Sultan Haitham bin Tarik.

January 2023 is extra special because we are witnessing an exciting venture into a brave new world - Space.

This development is worth our close attention, not only because it’s a whole new industry but also because it invites us to think: What is the value of entering a hotly contested area such as the space race that requires significant human and financial capital?

To infinity and beyond!

Developing a competent human capital is the base of progress for society and the project.

Only visionary minds dare of venturing in valuable spaces to infinity and beyond.

Such visionary minds in global powers from East and West all started with educating and building the capabilities of its teachers, crafts professionals, entrepreneurs, engineers, doctors, and scientists to become the powers they are today.

Two examples that come to mind is China in advanced manufacturing and the United States in the space industry.

Just imagine the impact on younger generations when they hear and see people in their wider community who identify themselves satellite designers, or space engine engineers or space mission planners.

Investing in space

There are many lessons learned from the Sultanate of Oman’s first space mission that took place in January 2023, spearheaded by the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology in collaboration with international space companies such as Virgin Orbit and United Kingdom Space Agency, in addition to new national space players such as International Emerging Technology Company (ETCO).

The most significant lesson in my mind is how an ambitious vision and plan to transform traditional infrastructure such as Cornwall Airport to become a Space Port generated thousands of direct and indirect jobs and attracted billions of dollars of investment from the space launch industry players.

Clearly, venturing into space is a marathon and not a sprint and requires long term determination and patience more than anything else.

The moonshot

I believe a life with a meaningful moonshot leave something to be desired.

History has shown that groups, no matter how small, when they take calculated risks and walk together in purposeful path, they become unstoppable, as the case is with the Oman maritime empire.

Seeing visions, such as Oman Vision 2040, being translated into bold steps such as the National Digital Economy Programme, fills me with hope that ambitions nations, such as the Sultanate of Oman, are on a roadmap towards transcending this earthly geographics space, to also become a peaceful and prosperous Sultanate of Oman in space in generations to come.

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