The Chinese City of Chengdu will soon be getting its own moon as the Tian Fu New Area Science Society aims to launch an artificial moon by 2020.
The moon will orbit above Chengdu, a capital of Sichuan province in China. The artificial moon will reflect the suns light and is expected to be eight times brighter than the real moon.
Essentially the moon will orbit on its own at 500km above the Earth and will replace streetlights at night thus saving energy. The estimated bill that could be saved annually by this innovation is around 1.2 billion yuan (USD$174 million) scientist Wu Chunfeng said.
The first of these artificial moons expected to launch around 2020 wont be as bright as street lights but the three of them expected to be in orbit in 2022 will be able to illuminate 3,600 to 6,400 sq km for up to 24 hours.
However China isn’t the first to try this, in 1999 Russia attempted to launch a small mirror into space to do the same thing although after the failed launch and financial constraints they weren’t able to continue the mission.