The 600-kilogram-plus satellite was sent into a sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of 500 km on Aug. 16, 2016. he quantum key transmission rate from satellite to ground is up to 20 orders of magnitude more efficient than that expected using an optical fiber of the same length. China has sent than an ‘unbreakable’ code from a satellite to the Earth, marking the first time space-to-ground quantum key distribution technology has been realized. Even Pentagon Pentagon has called this a “notable advance”.
Launch of the Chinese Quantum satellite, August 2016
“(It) can meet the demand of making an absolute safe phone call or transmitting a large amount of bank data,” Pan Jianwei, lead scientist of QUESS and an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences said to media. “Satellite-based quantum key distribution can be linked to metropolitan quantum networks where fibers are sufficient and convenient to connect numerous users within a city over 100 km. We can thus envision a space-ground integrated quantum network, enabling quantum cryptography – most likely the first commercial application of quantum information – useful at a global scale,” he added. Chinese President Xi Jinping has prioritized advancing China’s space projects.