New moon: China to launch lunar lighting in outer space

Chinese City Wants to Launch Artificial Moon

Chinese City Wants to Replace Streetlights With 'Artificial Moon'

The idea of the "artificial moon" came from 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. Other details, such as cost and exact launch date, were not released.

The moon, which would actually just be a glowing satellite, will reflect sunlight back to Earth. According to the scientist, such brightness would be achieved due to the fact that the satellite is going to be placed in orbit at about 500 kilometers from the earth's surface, while the Moon is at a distance of 384 thousand kilometers from Earth. However, the plan is to have three "artificial moons" in orbit by 2022-bringing "great civic and commercial potential", Chinese officials reportedly said.

The artificial moon, technically called an "illumination satellite", is meant to "complement" Earth's moon and cut the city's expenses on streetlights, as well as reduce energy usage, according to the institute behind the plan.

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The reflected sun light can cover an area of 3,600 sq km to 6,400 sq km, and the illumination intensity is expected to be eight times of the moon light, he said. Wu said that his company has been working on developing and building an "artificial moon" for years and that the technology is now finally mature enough to shoot for a 2020 launch.

Mr Chunfeng explained that the technology behind the Chinese satellite has been in the testing phase for years but is finally near completion.

The hope is that in addition to providing lighting, the creation will also draw more tourists to the city.

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Wu said several notable universities and institutes, including Harbin Institute of Technology and China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp, have evaluated the man-made moon project and given it their approval for trial and demonstration.

Note that in 1990-e years Russian Federation has implemented a program of experiments with the large "mirrors" or special reflectors in space under the name "Flag". The scheme used a device known as the Znamya 2, which was equipped with a 25-meter mirror to illuminate a three-mile radius of land. 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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