The Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Austrian Academy of Sciences have collaborated to launch the world’s first satellite designed to do quantum experiments. A fleet of quantum-enabled craft is likely to follow with the aim of creating a super-secure communications network to link people anywhere in the world.
The $100million USD mission is only the first step; if the first satellite goes well, China will definitely launch more,” says Chaoyang Lu, a physicist at the Hefei University of Science and Technology of China. Lu works with the team behind the Chinese satellite. According to him, about 20 satellites would be required to enable secure communications throughout the world.
Quantum communications are considered more secure than the standard technology used today. Two parties can communicate secretly by sharing a encryption key. Any eavesdropping would leave its mark. The satellite launch is planned for mid-August, which following the August 5th launch of China's Tiantong-1 mobile communications satellite, would mean a very productive month for China's rsapidly developing aerospace industry.
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