China is planning to put a 'moon' of its own in the night sky, and the motive reach beyond just a nod to the poetic beauty of the real celestial body. This artificial moon will replace conventional street lamps and help save a pretty penny in electricity expenses, the Chinese state media reported.
According to a report by China Daily, Chengdu city in southwestern Sichuan province of China is developing illumination satellites, which will shine along with the real moon but will be eight times brighter. These satellites will have a reflective coating which can reflect sunlight towards the Earth similar to the moon. Placed only 500km above the Earth, the light reflected from the man-made moons will be more luminous than the actual moon.
The first 'artificial moon' from China is scheduled to be placed into orbit by 2020 and will be launched from Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in Sichuan as a test mission. Three more such satellites will be launched in 2022 if the first attempt turns out to be a success, Wu Chunfeng of Tian Fu New Area Science Society told China Daily. The scientific outfit is responsible for this project.
"The first moon will be mostly experimental, but the three moons in 2022 will be the real deal with great civic and commercial potential," Wu told China Daily.
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