The Space-Based Quantum Cryptography Race | MIT Technology Review

The Space-Based Quantum Cryptography Race | MIT Technology Review.

Europe and China are gaining the upper hand in the race to bounce perfectly secure messages off satellites in low Earth orbit.

One of the great benefits of quantum communication is the ability to send messages from one point in space to another with perfect security. Not so great is the fact that so-called quantum cryptography is limited to distances of around 100 kilometers.

Last year, the Chinese announced plans to launch a spacecraft in 2016, called the Chinese Quantum Science Satellite. specifically designed to test these concepts. And European scientists have proposed a quantum communications experiment that could be sent to the international space station.

U.S. plans are much less clear. That may be because the work is being done behind closed doors. On the other hand, the U.S. may be dragging its feet.

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