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China launches world’s first quantum communication satellite

World's first quantum satellite is launched in Jiuquan, Gansu Province, China, August 16, 2016. China Daily/via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY. CHINA OUT.

Jiuquan (China): China on Tuesday successfully launched the world’s first quantum satellite from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwestern Gobi Desert at 1:40 a.m. local time.

Nicknamed “Micius,” after a fifth century B.C. Chinese philosopher and scientist who has been credited as the first one in human history conducting optical experiments, the satellite, Quantum Experiments at Space Scale (QUESS), roared into the dark sky on top of a Long March-2D rocket, reports the Xinhua news agency.

The satellite is reported to be 600-plus-kilogram will circle the Earth once every 90 minutes after it enters a sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of 500 kilometers.

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

The satellite has ultra-high security as a quantum photon from which it will be impossible to wiretap, intercept or crack the information transmitted through it.

The satellite will also be used by the scientists to test quantum key distribution between the satellite and ground stations, and conduct secure quantum communications between Beijing and Xinjiang’s Urumqi. (ANI)