Quantum Origin and Axiom Space: Cybersecurity for Commercial Space Station

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Houston and Cambridge, UK — Axiom Space is constructing the core layer of infrastructure for low-earth orbit operations for the commercial successor to the International Space Station (ISS). Axiom has formed a partnership with Cambridge Quantum to use Quantum Origin as a secure communication option for commercial customers using the ISS and, later, its successor spacecraft.

Axiom is creating the tech stack to serve the purposes of the future users of the spacecraft. These will include academic and research teams, businesses and civilian guests. Quantum-enhanced security will be an option offered to protect the communication of information from the spacecraft back to Earth.

Quantum Origin keys, seeded with verifiable quantum entropy, will provide certainty that datasets derived from a range of activities, such as space manufacturing, experiments in microgravity biology or gene sequencing, are secure. In its first use, Axiom sent a quantum encrypted message from the ISS, which read: “Hello Quantum World.”

Axiom’s first use of the Quantum Origin platform took place in summer 2021 and will be an option after Axiom begins commercial flights to the ISS, expected in 2022.

Quantum Origin’s key generation platform is based on the world’s only source of verifiable quantum entropy. It uses the unpredictable nature of quantum mechanics to generate cryptographic keys seeded with verifiable quantum randomness from Honeywell’s quantum computers. It supports traditional algorithms, such as RSA or AES, as well as post-quantum cryptography algorithms.