China Wants To Put An Artificial Moon Into Earth Orbit

Rodiano Bonacci
Ottobre 18, 2018

A city in China wants to put an artificial moon in space to act sort of like a massive streetlight. The city also believes that tourists would be more likely to visit and see how the moon works during the night, according to the report.

The idea is the brainchild of Wu Chunfeng, chairman of Chengdu Aerospace Science and Technology Microelectronics System Research Institute.

The planned "illumination satellite" would be sent up into space to "complement the moon at night" by shining eight times as bright, reports the People's Daily.

It is not clear whether the plan has the backing of the city of Chengdu or the Chinese government, though Casc is the main contractor for the Chinese space programme.

The "dusk-like glow" of the satellite would be able to light an area with a diameter of between 10 and 80km (six to 50 miles), while the precise illumination range could be controlled within tens of metres - enabling it to replace street lights. 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. The People's Daily also clarified that the satellite created to complement the natural moonlight, describing it as "similar to a dusk-like glow". In other words, one would think Casc would know whether a plan to launch a new satellite has Beijing's approval or not.

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