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19 October 2018, 12:41 | Dale Webster
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This bold plan never came to fruition, but as Chinese news outlet The People's Daily reports, an illumination satellite inspired by the idea may brighten the streets of Chengdu as soon as 2020.
The vision was shared by Wu Chunfeng, the chairman of the private space contractor Chengdu Aerospace Science and Technology Microelectronics System Research Institute Co (Casc), at a national mass innovation and entrepreneurship event held in Chengdu last week. He explained that their artificial moon will be eight times brighter than Earth's natural moon and be "bright enough to replace street lights in the city". However, the exact details of the spacecraft, the launch date and how the artificial moon would be maintained were not revealed. The new moon will be capable of illuminating an area of up to 50 miles (80 kilometers) in diameter, according to PDO.
A city in China is hoping to launch an "artificial moon" to light up the night skies in 2020.
The newspaper credited a French artist for the idea of putting a manmade moon into orbit.
The man-made moon will have a coating that can reflect light from the sun with solar panel-like wings. However, an expert told the People's Daily that the artificial moon's light shouldn't be so bright that it would impact them.
However, one of those involved in the project, Kang Weimin, director of the Institute of Optics, School of Aerospace, Harbin Institute of Technology, said this was not the case.
The project has sparked concern from the public, as many began to worry that the lights reflected from space could affect the daily routines of certain animals.
In 1999, a Russian experiment to deploy a large mirror in space created to function like an artificial moon was unsuccessful after it failed to unfold properly.
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