A Chinese city is tired of relying on electricity and our good old moon to light its streets at night. Thus, the city of Chengdu hopes to launch an artificial moon that could be bright enough to replace streetlights. According to local media, the idea was presented earlier this month by Wu Chunfeng, chairman of Chengdu Aerospace Aerospace Science and Technology Microelectronics System Research Institute Co.
According to the People’s Daily Online, details about this “illumination satellite” are few, but Wu said it would be eight times brighter than the actual moon, could light an area 10 to 80 kilometers wide and that its light range could be controlled with a precision of a few tens of meters.
The Asia Times tells us that the satellite in question would have a “highly reflective coating to reflect sunlight with wings shaped solar panels whose angles can be adjusted.”
In 1999, a Russian experiment to deploy a large mirror in space, designed to function as an artificial moon, failed after it did not deploy properly. Wu Chunfeng told reporters that the technology is now “mature” and will be launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in 2020.
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