Chengdu plans to launch ‘artificial moon’ into space to save on electricity

The artificial moon could be floating above China in 2020

A Chinese aerospace company has announced an ambitious plan to launch a fake moon into orbit in 2020. The plans were reportedly revealed by the Chengdu Aerospace Science and Technology Microelectronics System Research Institute Co.at a Chinese innovation and entrepreneurship event that took place last week.

Wu said they have been testing the illumination satellite for years, and they now feel it will be ready to launch in two years.

Chengdu, the capital of the Sichuan province, has proposed a plan to launch an artificial moon, or illumination satellite, into space, Asia Times is reporting. The artificial moon is expected to light up an area that's 10 to 80 kilometers in diameter. If the effort is successful, it would likely mean the city would have the equivalent of a full moon every night rather than just at certain times of the month.

The articial light emitted would replace streetlights in the Chinese city of Chengdu
Camera Icon The articial light emitted would replace streetlights in the Chinese city

The People's Daily report credited the idea to "a French artist, who imagined hanging a necklace made of mirrors above the Earth which could reflect sunshine through the streets of Paris all year round". "Several" proved an overstatement, but the design was shown to be sound.

But Znamya 2.5 misfired on launch and its creators failed to raise funding for another attempt.

State media reports were quick to dispel any potential worries about what sort of damage the project could do to the environment, quoting an expert as explaining that the light of the satellite would be "similar to a dusk-like glow" and so should not throw off animals' routines. The moon would be eighttimes brighter than the Earth's actual moon, creating an opportunity for the streets of Chengdu to be illuminated by the satellite instead of street lights.

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