China to launch artificial moon to light up night sky

23 Octobre, 2018, 06:40 | Auteur: Therese Cote
  • China to launch artificial moon to light up night sky

The reflection of light from the sphere, which would cover an urban area of 3,600 kilometers to 6,400 kilometers, will have an intensity of approximately eight times that of the real moon's light.

Think about walking down the streets on a full moon night. The first man-made moon will launch from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan. The artificial moon is a satellite boasting of an enormous space mirror that can reproduce the sunshine to the Earth. Apparently, the Chinese are seeing these benefits as well, as they've chose to launch an artificial moon into orbit by 2020. Considering that the man-made moons (claim to) illuminate an area of 50 square kilometres, light from it can also be instrumental to rescue operations in disaster zones, and even function as the backup power during blackouts.

As ideal as it may sound, however, there are concerns that the artificial moon will disrupt wildlife and other natural cycles on Earth. The first launch will be experimental that will determine whether or not the plan needs to be revised.

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The "man-made moon's" goal is to help illuminate urban areas in order to assist in cases like blackouts and natural disasters.

The subsequent satellites will be the "real deal", the ones with "great civic and commercial potential", said Wu Chunfeng, head of Tian Fu New Area Science Society which is spearheading the project, alongside Harbin Institute of Technology, China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp.

The man-made moons could replace streetlamps in urban areas, which would save an estimated 1.2 billion yuan (0 million) a year in electricity costs for Chengdu. "China, Russia, the United States, Japan and the European Union are all struggling to make technical revolutions on space energy application program", Wu said. The country also aims to land Chang'e-4 lunar probe on the surface of the moon and the probe is supposed to be launched by the end of this year. If it succeeds, it will be the first rover to explore the "dark side" of the moon.



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