(Yicai Global) Aug. 16 -- China has launched the world's first quantum satellite, a major step in creating a potentially un-hackable communications system between Earth and space.
The 640-kilogram payload was lifted into a 500-kilometer sun-synchronous orbit yesterday on a Long March-2D rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi desert of northwest China. Placed at an orbital inclination of 97.37°, the satellite is designed to have an in-orbit service life of two years.
Hailed as a scientific and technological breakthrough, the experimental satellite uses quantum-encrypted keys to defend against unauthorized hacks. It is named after Mozi, a great Chinese thinker, educator and scientist who lived during the Warring States Period about 2,500 years ago,
Mozi will operate in conjunction with existing terrestrial quantum optical fiber communication networks to create a basic wide area network (WAN) quantum communications system, as well as a satellite and terrestrial long-distance quantum science experiment platform.