Published On: Wed, Aug 17th, 2016

QUESS satellite: China launches world first quantum satellite in ‘hack-proof’ communications bid

QUESS satelliteCurrent Affairs: China has launched the world’s first quantum satellite in an effort to establish communications that cannot be hacked.
The Quantum Experiments at Space Scale, or QUESS, satellite, was launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in the remote north-western province of Gansu.
What is Quantum communications technology ?
  • Quantum communications technology is nearly impossible to hack because any interference to transmission of information destroys it.
  • Quantum communications holds “enormous prospects” in the field of defence, Xinhua added, and the satellite will further investigations into some of the more unusual properties of sub-atomic particles, including “quantum entanglement”.
Highlights of the Quantum Experiments at Space Scaler (QUESS) satellite
  • It is nicknamed Micius, after a 5th century BC Chinese philosopher and scientist who has been credited as the first one in human history conducting optical experiments.
  • It is designed to establish hack-proof quantum communications by transmitting uncrackable keys from space to the ground.
  • It will enable secure communications between Beijing and Urumqi, the capital of China’s violence-prone far western region of Xinjiang.
  • It will circle the Earth once every 90 minutes after it enters a sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of 500 km.
  • Satellite will help with Islamist insurgency battle.
The US and Japan are among other countries attempting to use quantum physics in space technology.

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