Etlaq Spaceport and ABL Space Systems Sign Key MoU

Representatives from ABL Space Systems and Etlaq Spaceport signed the MoU in the presence of CAA President Naif al Abri and Ana Escrogima, the US Ambassador to Oman.

MUSCAT: In a significant development for Oman’s developing space sector, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) facilitated the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Etlaq Spaceport and the US-based satellite launch company, ABL Space Systems. The ceremony was graced by CAA President Naif al Abri and Ana Escrogima, the United States Ambassador to Oman.

Under this MoU, ABL Space Systems and Etlaq Spaceport will collaborate to explore the potential of launching ABL’s RS1 launch vehicle from the Etlaq Spaceport. This partnership aims to bring orbital satellite launch capabilities to the Gulf region. The initial focus will be on evaluating local logistics and site construction, as well as developing regulatory and export control frameworks in coordination with both the US and Oman governments.

Located at a strategic 18-degree latitude, the Etlaq Spaceport is slated to be operational by 2027. It will offer broad orbital access, ranging from sun-synchronous to low-inclination orbits. The proximity to Duqm’s commercial airport and deepwater port will provide essential logistical support for these satellite missions. This infrastructure will bolster Oman’s space sector, positioning the Sultanate as a leader in the regional and global space industry.

Harry O’Hanley, CEO of ABL, expressed enthusiasm about the partnership, stating, “The Gulf region space ecosystem is growing immensely, with new investment and large ambition in exploration, science missions and constellation deployment. These efforts all benefit from local access to space and we’re excited by the opportunity to partner with Etlaq and the Sultanate of Oman to help provide this capability.”

His Highness Sayyid Azzan bin Qais al Said, CEO of Etlaq, emphasized the importance of the MoU, saying, “We are proud of getting to this milestone with ABL Space Systems, and it reflects our commitment to developing the space sector in Oman. We believe that this MOU is a step in the right direction for us to position our spaceport as a global choice for established rocket companies.”

The signing of this MoU marks a critical step forward in realizing Oman’s aspirations for its local space sector and enhancing international cooperation in space endeavors.