China plans to launch a satellite into space that will illuminate up to 80 km of land below. The artificial moon, as it is called, can replace street lighting and has been under development for some time.
The light generated by the satellite is eight times brighter than that of the real moon. Unlike the moon, however, the power is controllable and can be adjusted to illuminate between 10 and 80 kilometers.
The satellite will focus on the city of Chengdu, one of the three most populous cities in western China. About 14.5 million people live in the region.
The project was developed by the Chengdu Research Institute for Aerospace Research and Microelectronics, which is expected to launch the satellite in 2020.
Concerns have been raised aloud about the effects of such bright night light on wildlife in the area. Although the twilight-like glow is similar enough to the real moon to have no negative impact, Kang Weimin told CIFNews.
It is unclear whether Ed Harris will be installed on the Artificial Moon to watch over the citizens of Earth while we participate in a global reality television show.
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China is also investing in the real moon. It has plans to launch a mission that will explore the "dark" side of the moon for the first time – the bit that the earth will never see.
Technical challenges are difficult as they communicate with the craft on the other side of the earth Moon is not easy. However, China has already launched an orbiter called Queqiao, which will enable communication.