The world’s first quantum communication satellite, which China is preparing to launch, has been given the moniker “Micius,” after a fifth century B.C. Chinese scientist, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) announced Monday.
“Just like the Galileo satellites and Kepler telescopes, we used the name of a famous scholar for our first quantum satellite. We hope this will promote and boost confidence in Chinese culture,” said Pan Jianwei, quantum communication satellite project chief scientist.
Micius was a philosopher as well as a scientist. He discovered that light travels in straight lines more than 2,000 years ago and was likely the first person to record an image with a pinhole.
According to CAS, the quantum satellite will conduct experiments on high-speed quantum key distribution between the satellite and ground stations, as well as explore quantum teleportation for the first time in the world.