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China’s Planning To Build An Artificial Moon That Would Light The Cities At Night

Science fiction movies and comic books have inspired humanity to do some crazy things. Quite a few times it has paid off, but it is not always the case. With things like Elon Musk’s crazy ‘hyperloop’ road idea gaining traction, why not try to shoot a fake moon into the sky?

The city of Chengdu, home to 14 million people, doesn’t seem to have enough light during late hours. Although that’s what supposed to happen, thanks to nature, the official in the city feel like the streets of the capital of Sichuan province need the proper amount of illumination at night.

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Over the last few years, it seems an artificial moon has been in development in China for the last few years. Set to be unveiled by 2020, Wu Chunfeng, chairman of Casc, the agency heading the project, revealed the plans last month on October 10th.

Essentially just a fancy-made satellite, the moon will work by reflecting the sun’s natural light onto the city of Chengdu. It is supposed to compliment the light that the moon already shines down on the city at night and also be bright enough to replace all its street lights.

If the idea sounds vaguely familiar, that’s because it’s been attempted before. Russia tried launching orbiting mirrors into the skies above Siberia in the 1990s. One mirror’s failure to deploy ensured the idea was pursued no further.

The problem with Chengdu’s giant mirror-moon is how it might affect the lives of humans and wildlife. The behavior of animals that are both nocturnal and diurnal will be thrown off in addition possibly messing with the sleep-wake cycle of the city’s populous.

But Kang Weimin, a researcher from Harbin Institute of Technology, claims the thing will give off a “dusk-like glow” that will only compliment the natural light that already exists.

I’ve seen enough movies to know this is a bad idea. It never ends well. Do you think this moon will ‘get off the ground?’

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