China has launched a satellite to test whether communications can be rendered hack-proof in its latest challenge to US supremacy in space, the Financial Times reports. In contrast to previous Chinese initiatives that replicated the achievements of US and Russian space programs of decades ago, the satellite would, if successful, put China at the forefront of a new technology. Micius, named after an ancient Chinese scientist and philosopher, uses a concept from quantum physics called “entanglement.” If proven successful in communications between the satellite and Earth, it will in principle allow for virtually unhackable communications. The Micius launch fits a global pattern of increased interest in quantum research, such as the EU’s one-billion Euro Flagship program for quantum technologies.
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