China May Soon Have a Second (Artificial) Moon

Cesar Mills
October 19, 2018

Officials in Chengdu, a city of 14 million people in China's southwestern province of Sichuan, announced plans to place a satellite in orbit by 2020 capable of reflecting sunlight onto its streets at night, claiming it will be bright enough to entirely replace street lights.

According to Independent UK, Wu Chunfeng, chairman of Chengdu aerospace science and technology microelectronics system research institute, disclosed this at a national mass innovation and entrepreneurship activity held in the city.

He explained that their artificial moon will be eight times brighter than Earth's natural moon and be "bright enough to replace street lights in the city".

Speaking at an entrepreneur conference, Wu said the satellite will allow the light to be carefully controlled and kept to an area 10-80 kilometres (around 6-50 miles) in diameter.

However, the exact details of the spacecraft, the launch date and how the artificial moon would be maintained were not revealed.

The artificial or man-made moon is a satellite carrying a huge space mirror, which can reflect the sun light to the Earth.

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However, Wu stressed that much work still needs to be done, both in terms of scientific feasibility and business models, to tap into the full potential of China's artificial moons.

Some expressed concerns about light pollution and potentially negative impact on animals.

A Chinese city has hatched a plan to launch an artificial moon into space within the next two years, according to a new report.

In the 1990s, Russian scientists reportedly used giant mirrors to reflect light from space in an experimental project called Znamya or Banner. The satellite could be picked up on a telescope, Fortune reports, if you don't want to make the trip to Chengdu.

In 1999, a Russian experiment to deploy a large mirror in space created to function like an artificial moon was unsuccessful after it failed to unfold properly.

Other reports by GizPress

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