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.
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.
“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.
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.