August 15, 2016
China has taken one more step forward towards achieving success in Quantum communication technology.
China has launched the world’s first quantum communications satellite into orbit aboard a Long March-2D rocket earlier today in order to test the fundamental laws of quantum mechanics at space.
‘Hack-Proof’ Communications System
The satellite, dubbed Quantum Science Satellite, is designed to develop a ‘Hack-Proof’ communications system in this age of global electronic surveillance and cyber attacks by transmitting uncrackable encryption keys from space to the ground.
The 600-plus-kilogram Quantum Science Satellite, better known as Quantum Experiments at Space Scale (QUESS) satellite, took off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Gobi Desert at 1:40 AM local time on a 2-year mission on Tuesday.
The QUESS satellite will help China perform unprecedented levels of experiments in quantum communication by sending entangled photons from the satellite to relay stations in China and Europe, which is separated by about 1,200 kilometers (746 miles).
The pioneering experiment is to test if the spooky property of quantum entanglement can work at long distances as well.
The satellite’s payloads include:
- Quantum key communicator
- Quantum entanglement emitter
- Quantum entanglement source
- Quantum experiment controller
- Laser communicator
The payloads, designed to operate for two years, were developed by the National Space Science Center in Beijing under the Chinese Academy of Sciences.