Published: Fri, October 19, 2018
Science | By Dan Gutierrez

China Wants To Put An Artificial Moon Into Earth Orbit

China Wants To Put An Artificial Moon Into Earth Orbit

But that's what China is planning to do; to launch three artificial or man-made moon to do away with the need for street lights by 2022.

According to Chunfeng, Chengdu's streetlights will be replaced with the satellite that will boost the glow of the real moon. The state media outlet claims that the fake moon would be able to light up an area with a diameter of 10 to 80 kilometers with officials on the ground able to focus all that the illumination on Chengdu.

The idea was launched at a press conference earlier this month by Chengdu Aerospace Science and Technology Microelectronics System Research Institute.

IFLScience reports that "the moon would be a satellite with a special coating that would reflect the light of the Sun onto Chengdu during the night".

A French artist once envisioned a cosmic version of Versailles' famed Hall of Mirrors, reportedly proposing the creation of an artificial moon powered by a necklace of mirrors that would reflect light back onto the streets of Paris.

The project is set to be completed in 2020 and, according to the People's Daily, the artificial moon is "designed to complement the moon at night".

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China's space industry is preparing to launch the world's first artificial moon to help with urban illumination at night, a leading scientist said.

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

For now, details on the proposed moon-including further satellite specifications, cost and launch date-remain scarce. Scientists have always been critical of human light pollution and its ability to potentially throw off the day/night rhythm of animals, and the same could be true of this fake moon plan.

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.

In the 1990s, Russian Federation carried out an experiment called Banner, testing the idea of using a mirror to reflect the sunlight to Earth.

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