Satellite will be orbit by 2020 and reflect sunlight onto the city streets
China is to launch an artificial moon into space in an attempt to illuminate one of the country’s largest cities by the year 2020.
According to Officials in Chengdu, a city with a population of 14 million people in China’s southwestern province of Sichuan, they place a satellite in orbit by 2020 proficient enough to reflect sunlight onto the city streets and replacing street lights.
The fake moon will apply a reflective coating which will direct light to brighten an area on earth of up to 50 square miles; Wu Chunfeng claims – chairman of the city’s Aerospace Science and Technology Microelectronics System Research Institute.
According to The Telegraph: The launch followed a similar project in 1999 when Russian researchers projected to use orbiting mirrors to light up cities in Siberia, hoping it would be an affordable alternative to electric lighting.
The scheme developed by Russia used a device called Znamya 2.
It was equipped with a 25-meter mirror to illuminate a three-mile-wide patch of land.
During its first orbit, the craft was damaged following a collision in space.
The scheme was dropped.
In remarks first reported by CIFNews, Mr. Chunfeng told a science event in Chengdu that the artificial moon, which has been undergoing testing for several years, will provide at least eight times extra light than the real moon.
He did not say how much the project would cost.
Scientists have warned the device could disturb wildlife and disrupt systems that observe the earth’s atmosphere.
However, Kang Weimin, a director at the School of Aerospace at the Harbin Institute of Technology, told CIFNews that the satellite would provide a dusk-like glow, meaning it will not affect animals.