China's Artificial Moon Due Up in 2020 to Replace Streetlights

Pat Wise
October 22, 2018

He reportedly added testing of the satellite, which is expected to orbit at 500 kilometres above the Earth, began years ago. Located significantly closer to the earth, Chunfeng estimates that it could provide eight times as much iridescence as the moon.

Controls on the satellite will allow light levels to be configured and controlled, Wu told a conference of entrepreneurs, and the final object would be able to reflect light on a 10 to 80 mile area, well within the city's area.

This specific satellite, which is created to Supplement the brightness of the moon night is scheduled to launch in 2020.

When launched, and if successful, the satellite would be bright enough to entirely replace street lights.

As Chinese outlets have reported, Wu said the second moon would replace traditional energy sources, causing a reduction in energy consumption and contributing to an output value of 20 billion yuan within five years of its launch.

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But little is known about the height, size and true brightness of the proposed artificial moon - all of which are factors that could affect its visibility to distant observers. The organization behind the lunar illumination also hopes the space light source will assist with rescue efforts in disaster zones when electricity for lighting is not available.

China is aiming to introduce the artificial moon by 2020, the moon has the capability of lightening up the skies as far as fifty miles around.

Three man-made moons will be launched in 2022, it said.

Concerns that the false nighttime light would interfere with the normal day-night cycle of animals and plants were put to rest by Kang Weimin, director of the Institute of Optics, School of Aerospace, Harbin Institute of Technology. In 1999, Russian scientists launched from the Mir space station a prototype for giant reflectors that would beam sunlight to far northern cities during dark winters, the Associated Press reported.

The device, dubbed Znamya 2, collapsed soon after take-off and was subsequently abandoned. While a number of space enthusiasts claimed to have seen what they believed to be the spacecraft in orbit, in August of 2017 the team behind the Mayak Project revealed the solar reflector failed to unfurl in orbit.

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