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China's First Quantum-Powered Satellite Is Ready for ‘Basic’ Encrypted Communication

By Wang Jianwen and Zhao Runhua / Mar 11, 2019 06:39 PM / Business & Tech

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

China’s first quantum-powered communication satellite Micius, also known as Mozi, can now satisfy the “basic needs” of ultra-secure communication, the satellite’s leading architect Pan Jianwei said, during a CPPCC press conference.

The satellite's communications are enabled by developments in quantum mechanics, which would allow two parties to exchange messages via encrypted ‘quantum keys’ secured by a special quantum state.

Since the satellite’s launch in 2016, Pan’s team enhanced Micius' capability to generate encrypted keys, and the probe can now serve some real-world communication needs, Pan said.

China hopes the probe can perform more long-distance quantum-secured communication trials soon.

At the annual meeting of the nation’s top political advisory body, Pan proposed China launch more quantum-related tech projects. He also said that Micius is performing excellently, and that his team expects it to work for at least another two years.

Related: China Wants Its Eye in the Sky to See More of the World

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