China launches ‘hack-proof’ communications satellite

World's first quantum satellite is launched in Jiuquan, Gansu Province, China, August 16, 2016. China Daily/via REUTERS

World’s first quantum satellite is launched in Jiuquan, Gansu Province, China, August 16, 2016. China Daily/via REUTERS

China on Tuesday launched the world’s first quantum satellite, which will help it establish “hack-proof” communications between space and the ground, state media said, the latest advance in an ambitious space program.

The program is a priority as President Xi Jinping has urged China to establish itself as a space power, and apart from its civilian ambitions, it has tested anti-satellite missiles.

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 the early hours of Tuesday, the official Xinhua news agency said.

“In its two-year mission, QUESS is designed to establish ‘hack-proof’ quantum communications by transmitting uncrackable keys from space to the ground,” it said.

“Quantum communication boasts ultra-high security as a quantum photon can neither be separated nor duplicated,” it added. “It is hence impossible to wiretap, intercept or crack the information transmitted through it.”

The satellite will enable secure communications between Beijing and Urumqi, Xinhua said, referring to the capital of China’s violence-prone far western region of Xinjiang, where the government says it is battling an Islamist insurgency.

“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,” Pan Jianwei, the project’s chief scientist, told the agency.

Quantum communications holds “enormous prospects” in the field of defense, it added.

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.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

Source: Reuters “China launches ‘hack-proof’ communications satellite”

Note: This is Reuters report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.

3 Comments on “China launches ‘hack-proof’ communications satellite”

  1. Joseph says:

    The satellite is a quantum technology that uses quantum photon. It is not really ‘hack-proof’, but it simply cannot be hacked by the West, yet. And given Western economic budget, they will not have the priority to hack it soon. Quantum photon technology is a new technology that the likes of the American would expect to gain from poached Chinese scientists, and they would get it if their economy is still good and China’s is not. The fact that China gets it first is a clear sign of the decline of Western space program as it could no longer attract ‘best talent’. In the meantime, the West can still do what they do best, hacking mails, mobile phones, internets and other old technology.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Steve says:

    A coincidence or planned launched prior to the G20 meeting in September. This world’s first quantum satellite is a prestigious Chinese technological achievement, will be the talking point of the G20.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Foxhound says:

    U were right, by claiming that China will beat West in Space area other than the outclassed Aircraft carriers’s strategy that is in fact Thalasocracy’s doctrine completely overpassed by the new hypersonic missiles. U were right, it could be considered as chinese breakthrough. An extraordinary super achievement after the Sunway TaihuLight, super computer.
    It rests the only area where China must improve herself is the jet engines technology where it still relies on Russia.