In a move that could save hundreds of millions of dollars in annual electricity costs, the Chinese government is planning to launch a “fake moon” into space in 2020.
The moon, according to China Daily, is actually an “illumination satellite” featuring reflective panels. These panels will catch and release light from the sun just as the moon does, although Wu Chunfeng, head of Tian Fu New Area Science Society in Chengdu, says the satellite has the potential to be approximately eight times as bright as the natural celestial reflector.
The satellite will allegedly be able to adjust its brightness, aim light in different directions (a possible aid in times of disaster), and limit or expand its ground coverage, which could range from 6 to 50 miles in diameter. …
The satellite is set to be launched into orbit about 310 miles above the city of Chengdu in 2020. If the first moon proves successful, China plans to launch three additional satellites in 2022 that could cover a much larger area.
via Tip of the Spear