China launched the world’s first quantum satellite, which will help it establish “hack-proof” communications between space and the ground, which is the latest advance in an ambitious space programme.
Quantum communication encryption is a unique method of encoding the content of a message.
- Much like traditional encryption, it uses a key to make that content unreadable, but unlike traditional keys which can he hacked given enough time and processing power, quantum keys simply cannot be hacked.
- Given the very nature of quantum mechanics, merely viewing the key itself would change its composition.
- If two people share a message encrypted by a key made up of quantum particles, if a third person intercepts it, that key will change in an unpredictable way.
- That not only means the message cannot be read by someone else, but that those sending and receiving would be made aware of the snooping.
China’s Quantum Satellite :-
The Quantum Experiments at Space Scale, or QUESS, satellite was launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in the remote northwestern province of Gansu.
- In its two-year mission, QUESS is designed to establish ‘hack-proof’ quantum communications by transmitting untraceable keys from space to the ground.
- Quantum communication boasts ultra-high security as a quantum photon can neither be separated nor duplicated and It is hence impossible to wiretap, intercept or crack the information transmitted through it.
- The satellite will enable secure communications between Beijing and Urumqi and the newly-launched satellite marks a transition in China’s role from a follower in classic information technology development to one of the leaders guiding future achievements.
It is noted that Researchers around the world have successfully sent quantum messages by land. But a true satellite-based network would make it possible to send quickly encrypted messages in an instant around the world and open the door to other possible uses of the technology.
- Cyber security has been a major focus in recent years for China, which has pushed regulations aimed at limiting technology imported from the U.S. in the wake of Edward Snowden’s revelations of widespread surveillance by the U.S. through the use of American hardware.
- According tothis theory, two particles become “entangled” when they interact. However, any subsequent interaction impacts on both particles. It is hence impossible to wiretap, intercept or crack the information transmitted through it.
- It is noted that China insists its space program is for peaceful purposes, but the U.S. Defense Department has highlighted its increasing space capabilities, saying it was pursuing activities aimed to prevent adversaries from using space-based assets in a crisis.
- Capital: Beijing
- Currency: Renminbi
- President: Xi Jinping
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