China to end electricity costs with a fake moon

Queqiao, the relay satellite for the Chang'e-4 lunar mission entered the planned halo orbit around the second Lagrangian point of the Earth Moon system about 65,000 km from the Moon on 14 June 2018 at 03:06 UTC (11:0

This "artificial moon" will in fact be a satellite capable of generating a light that's eight times brighter than the real moon and replacing the need for streetlights in the city.

The freakish plan, which would give a "dust-like glow" for the south-western city of 14 million, was revealed in the People's Daily newspaper.

The artificial moon will be able to light an area within a diameter of 10 to 80 kilometres.

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". The imitation celestial body - essentially an illuminated satellite - will bear a reflective coating to cast sunlight back to Earth, where it will supplement streetlights at night.

Officials have released few details on the project, but say the idea pulls inspiration from a French artist who envisioned a necklace of mirrors hanging over Earth.

Officials in China are planning to launch a man-made moon to rest in the sky above the south-western city of Chengdu.

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

The Southwestern city of Chengdu revealed it would launch its illumination satellite in 2020, which it said was created to emulate moonlight and would be eight times brighter than the real moon.

The last project of such kind was a Russian attempt in 1999 to use orbiting mirrors as a way to illuminate cities in Siberia, mainly in the hope it would serve as a cheaper alternative to electric lighting. He said preliminary testing is now complete, and the satellite should be ready for launch by 2020, according to state media this week.

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.

Scientists are concerned about the moon's effect on the wildlife and the Earth's atmosphere.

The device, dubbed Znamya 2, collapsed soon after take-off and was subsequently abandoned.

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