China’s Quantum Satellite UPSC

China’s Quantum Satellite | UPSC


China’s quantum satellite enables first totally secure long-range messages

      WHY IN NEWS:

A successful long-distance quantum communications link ushers in a new era of communication security

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Science and Technology : Space


For PRELIMS it is important to understand what is quantum communication ? Though it is old issue , It has been in the news recently .

For MAINS do you think quantum communication is the future if Internet ?


Special telescopes in two Chinese observatories, satellite Micius sends particles of light to Earth to establish the world’s most secure communication link.


  • NAMING : Named after the ancient Chinese philosopher also known as Mozi.

Micius is the world’s first quantum communications satellite and has, for several years, been at the forefront of quantum encryption.

  • MAJOR MILESTONE: Long-range secure communication you could trust even without trusting the satellite it runs through.
  • LAUNCH : Launched in 2016, Micius has already produced a number of breakthroughs under its operating team led by Pan Jian-Wei, China’s “Father of Quantum”.

The satellite serves as the source of pairs of entangled photons, twinned light particles whose properties remain intertwined no matter how far apart they are.  


  • If you manipulate one of the photons, the other will be similarly affected at the very same moment.
  • It is this property that lies in the heart of the most secure forms of quantum cryptography, the entanglement-based quantum key distribution.

If you use one of the entangled particles to create a key for encoding messages, only the person with the other particle can decode them.

China’s Quantum Satellite

Quantum encryption relies on entangled particles of light.

  • This mechanism prevents malicious attacks, such as blinding the telescopes with other light signals.


  • THE FUTURE : Secure long-distance links such as this one will be the foundation of the quantum internet, the future global network with added security powered by laws of quantum mechanics, unmatched by classical cryptographic methods.
  • The launch of Micius quantum race has political and military implications that are hard to ignore.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • Successful long distance quantum communications link is a sign that we are already living in a new era of communication security.
  • This gives China the robust, unbreakable cryptographic protection without the need to trust the satellite.
     SOURCES:DownToEarth | China’s Quantum Satellite | UPSC


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