According to the China Daily reports, “China is planning to launch its own “Artificial Moon” by 2020, with the plan to replace street lamps and lower costs of electricity in urban areas. The “illumination satellites” is being developed at Chengdu, a city in southwestern Sichuan province.
As per reports, this “artificial moon” will shine in tandem with the real moon, but it will be eight-time brighter than the real moon. In an interview with China Daily, Wu Chunfeng, head of Tian Fu New Area Science Society, the organization responsible for the project said: “The first man-made moon will launch from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan, with three more to follow in 2022 if the first test goes well.”
“Although the first launch will be experimental, the 2022 satellites will be the reality with great civic and commercial potential,” he said in an interview with China Daily. Reflecting the sunlight, satellites could replace urban street lights, saving about 1.2 billion yuan ($ 170 million) a year for Chengdu electricity costs if the human-induced moon illuminates an area of 50 square kilometers. “The extraterrestrial light source could also help save efforts in disastrous areas during interruptions”, Chunfeng added.
While China’s space program is close to that of the United States and Russia, a series of ambitious projects are underway, including the Chang’e-4 moon probe – named after the goddess of the moon in Chinese mythology – later in this year. If it succeeds, it will be the first rover to explore the “dark side” of the moon. Chengdu’s artificial moon project was announced by Wu at a conference on innovation and entrepreneurship in Chengdu on October 10