The world's first artificial moon could hit the market in 2020, China Daily reports. China's space industry is preparing to launch an artificial moon into orbit over the city of Chengdu. It is expected that the wrong moon will be launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan Province, China.
The artificial moon will act as a night light. Similar to the real moon, the artificial will have a reflective coating that deflects sunlight to the earth ̵
The object has a planned orbit of approximately 310 miles above the Earth. This is much closer than the real moon orbiting an average distance of about 239,000 miles from our planet.
According to Wu Chunfeng, director of the Tian Fu New Area Science Society in Chengdu, who spoke with China Daily, the artificial moon will be brighter than the one we are used to. It could replace some street lights in Chengdu that help save energy, but it will not brighten the night sky.
The location and the brightness of the "moonbeams" can be controlled and specifically illuminated, reports the news agency.
Live Science reports that little is known about the height, size and true brightness of the proposed artificial moon – which could affect all of its visibility.
If the launch of this moon is successful, another three could follow in 2022 Wu told China Daily. Wu estimated that the city of Chengdu could save around $ 174 million (1.2 billion yuan) in electricity every year when the artificial moon lit 31 square miles of the city. Artificial moonlight could also serve other purposes, he suggested, like the lighting up of disaster areas during power outages.
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