China launches first-ever quantum communication satellite

(From China Daily)

China launched the world’s first quantum-enabled satellite in the early hours of Tuesday, marking the first step in building a space-based quantum communications network that is virtually uncrackable.

Satellite Micius blasts off

China launches the world’s first quantum satellite from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center
in northwestern Gobi Desert early on Tuesday

The 631-kg satellite, which is named after the ancient Chinese philosopher and scientist Micius, lifted off at 1:40 am atop a Long March 2D rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwestern China.

It will operate 500 km above the Earth’s surface for at least two years.

It is the third in a row of the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ space science satellite firsts, following the Dark Matter Particle Explorer satellite that will help scientists deepen their understanding of the past and future of galaxies and the universe and Shijian 10, which carried out a series of experiments in micro-gravity in space for physical and life sciences, according to the academy.

Research has shown it is practically impossible to crack, intercept or wiretap quantum communications because its physical traits mean it cannot be replicated, separated nor reverse engineered.

Any attempt to interfere with its transmissions will leave a mark, disrupt the communication and result in parties involved being warned.  Read More

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