Weekly Takeaways-February 8, 2022
Updated: Mar 29
Time for the Quantum Internet There is lots of hype and confusion around the Quantum Internet. At the simplest level it is a network of quantum computers. But unlike the regular internet, it can do more than just share information between computers. “The power of quantum computing is in having a large number of qubits… If you can link those “live” qubits, you’ve linked the internals of your quantum computers, and you’ve effectively created a bigger quantum computer.” So it won't act like today's internet. Instead, it will harness the power of interconnected quantum computers. According to Vint Cerf: “Scaling of quantum computers is facilitated by the distribution of entanglement. In theory, you can make a larger quantum system if you can distribute entanglement to a larger number of distinct quantum machines.” And just like the original internet, development is underway through public private partnerships. It will need new tech, standards, and an entanglement distribution network, ideally through satellites. And it “will need incredible time synchronization.” Industry News
The European Commission (EC) announced their Space Policy priorities in 2022, including developing “an ultra-secure infrastructure thanks to quantum encryption” and “value chains in critical sectors for space such as quantum." The EC Commissioner also announced they are close to unveiling a plan for a broadband constellation which “will also leverage quantum encryption to secure the network.”
The strange saga of the mysterious Shijian-21 continues. It was launched last October to supposedly “test and verify space debris mitigation technologies”, but there were concerns that it could observe and disrupt other satellites. On January 22, it disappeared from its regular position in orbit and was then observed to rendezvous with and move a dead BeiDou satellite.
According to Forbes, “Quantum Tech 2022: A Stampede Of Unicorns Is Headed For Your Industry”, “Technologies based on the fundamental properties of quantum mechanics will revolutionize industries, changing business models forever.”
New market reports: The Quantum Insider forecasts a Quantum Security Market worth $10B by 2030, and the European Union Agency for the Space Programme predicts a Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) market worth 405B Euros by 2031.
The More You Know...
So it is official: the ISS is ready for the space trash bin. The single most expensive object ever built will be dumped into the Pacific Ocean in 2031. But it has outlasted its purpose as better replacements are being developed. Future astronauts don’t need to apply to NASA; all you need is a ticket from Blue Origin, SpaceX, Virgin Orbit, Axiom Space, among others. This is the democratization of space. What was once the domain of international space agencies is now owned by the private sector. Satellite communications. Rockets. Earth Observation. Space tourism. Lunar exploration. Next up: GPS.