China To Launch "Artificial Moon" Satellite

Mindy Sparks
October 22, 2018

Chinese scientists are planning to launch an artificial or man-made moon into orbit by 2020 to illuminate city streets after dark and lower electricity costs in urban areas. "Its expected brightness, in the eyes of humans, is around one-fifth of normal streetlights", added Wu.

By reflecting light from the sun, the satellites could replace streetlamps in urban areas, saving an estimated 1.2 billion yuan (USD 170 million) a year in electricity costs for Chengdu, if the man-made moons illuminate an area of 50 square kilometers. The coverage of the moon can reportedly be accurately adjusted within a few dozen meters, fine-tuned for luminosity, and used to pin-point and help disaster zones.

The chairman also said that the artificial moon would be brighter than the actual Moon, but did not state how much the project had cost thus far or how much more it would cost.

AFP was not able to contact Wu nor the Tian Fu New Area Science Society to confirm the reports.

"We will only conduct our tests in an uninhabited desert, so our light beams will not interfere with any people or Earth-based space observation equipment", he told the Daily.

China is poised to launch a moon-like satellite into space with the aim to provide illumination for its urban centers, by 2022.

China is not the first country to try beaming sunlight back to Earth. Russian Federation attempted a similar launching of a mirror into space during the 1990s, to reflect sunlight over its territory, however, the mirror failed to unfold and the project was subsequently halted.

Chunfeng was also reported to have referred to the satellite as an artificial moon at a science event held in Chengdu, and that the satellite had been in testing for several years. That failed due to the mirror malfunctioning.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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