China launches first-ever quantum communication satellite

China successfully launched the world’s first quantum satellite in northwest China’s Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on Tuesday.

The satellite was carried on top of a Long March-2D rocket.

The 600-plus-kilogram satellite 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, known as QUESS, is designed to establish “hack-proof” quantum communications by transmitting uncrackable keys from space to the ground.

It could also provide insights into the strangest phenomenon in quantum physics — quantum entanglement.

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