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News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

China's Quantum Satellite Sent Entangled Photons to Earth for the First Time

• by Daniel Oberhaus

We are increasingly dependent on digital tools for almost every aspect of our daily lives, which means we also rely on two fundamental technologies that have made the digital revolution possible: satellites and encryption. Satellites are used for everything from GPS to television to processing credit card data, and encryption protocols are integral not only to communicating with these satellites, but also for matters as private as personal medical records, or as mundane as texting your friends.

The problem is that the advent of quantum computing threatens to render current methods of encryption obsolete, which will put your sexts—and every satellite communication network—at risk of exposure. Researchers and government intelligence agencies are scrambling to develop quantum-proof encryption techniques, but figuring out how to export these techniques to the uniquely hostile space environment has proven difficult.

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