Etlaq space launch complex is a project which the national aerospace services company (NASCOM) began in the Sultanate of Oman in 2022. The concept of Etlaq was born out of NASCOM’s need to begin flight testing their prototype hybrid-solid rockets in a safe area that can be used for future launches.
NASCOM was created during the infancy of the local aerospace industry in Oman and it continues to work closely with the industry’s national stakeholders and regulators. The company’s main focus is to drive national capacity building within scientific research and promote global partnerships in the private sector.
With the help of the relevant local authorities, NASCOM identified the southern coast of the state of Al Duqm as a suitable location for a space launch complex; Etlaq. Within the chosen area, a 256,443 m2 plot was created (Plot 25, Hetam, Al Duqm). The plot rests on flat ground 17 meters above sea level, at a distance of 1 Km from the ocean and 2 Km from the nearest road.
Etlaq’s main purpose is an integrated space launch complex offering warehousing for assembly and labs for testing along with control rooms, clean rooms, and launch pads. Etlaq will attract global companies to utilize the Sultanate’s ideal location and global standard facilities for space launch operations. A multi-use approach as such, allows as many units within the complex to be maximized and the ability to accommodate multiple launch companies.
Phase 1 of Etlaq space launch complex development is scheduled to begin in Q1 of 2023. However, it will take three years to fully complete the center.
NASCOM said that Etlaq space launch complex’s aim is to maximize the potential of the Sultanate of Oman’s major natural space asset; the coastal equatorial launch location of Al Duqm. Due to its latitude, Duqm has the second highest m/s launch velocity compared to the top five most utilized launch sites in the world. When equipped with a launch complex of international standards, the Sultanate is in a regionally exclusive position to offer the growing global space launch market a new route to space.
Etlaq will operate at levels which mirror the productivity and efficiency to that of Oman’s aviation and energy industries. Therefore, aerospace technology is the next step in an industrial renaissance, and Etlaq is leading the way to make sure that launch companies of all sizes are drawn to the newest and one of the most latitude efficient spaceports in the world.