As the US’ tech war with China continues to rage, China has leapfrogged the US in satellite telecommunication technology with the successful launch of the world’s first sixth-generation satellite into space.
The experimental satellite containing advanced telecommunications technology was launched Friday into low Earth orbit from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in China’s northern Shanxi Province, reported Asia Times.
A Long March-6 carrier rocket’s payload consisted of the 6G satellite and 13 other satellites. A video of the launch was published on Twiter via the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China.
The "#UESTC" satellite (Star Era-12), the first #6G test satellite in the world and first one named after the university since its establishment, was successfully lifted off at Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center and entered the scheduled orbit on the morning of Nov. 6. pic.twitter.com/ouM2rpC7pS
— UESTC-电子科技大学 (@UESTC1956) November 6, 2020
The satellite, developed jointly by Chengdu Guoxing Aerospace Technology and Beijing MinoSpace Technology, will be used in a pilot testing program to trial 6G technology in space.
According to Yicai Media Group, 6G is more than 100 times faster than 5G – enables seamless transmission, longer distances, faster speeds, and smaller power output from space to land-based communication devices.
6G technology is still in the beginning stages, but Friday’s launch appears to show China has moved ahead of the US in space-based testing. Many hurdles are still expected with the technology as testing will start near term.
The launch comes as the US and China are locked in a heated tech war. In 2019, President Trump tweeted the obvious: America must step up its efforts to develop and deploy cutting edge tech or face getting “left behind.”
“I want 5G, and even 6G, technology in the United States as soon as possible. It is far more powerful, faster, and smarter than the current standard. American companies must step up their efforts, or get left behind. There is no reason that we should be lagging behind on………”