In an announcement on the 10th October 2018, a private company in China announced the creation of a fake moon to the light of the street of city Chengdu. the artificial moon if successfully launched would be 8 times brighter than the actual moon and could light up a distance of 480 km in every direction. Effectively replacing all the city street lights, the main reason behind the ideas to bring down electricity cost.
China’s Fake Moon
China is planning to launch an artificial moon by 2020. the artificial moon or illumination satellite is expected to replace the street lamps at night. A private Chinese space company plans to build an artificial moon for Chengdu the capital of South Western Sichuan province.
The announcement was made at Tian Fu New Area science Society at an innovation and Entrepreneurship conference in Chengdu on October 10th. According to the head of the Chengdu Aerospace Science and Technology microelectronics system Research Institute company, the artificial moon would be 8 times Brighter than the actual moon and will be able to light an area with the diameter of 10 to 80 km.
The satellite will Orbit about 500 km above the city and use its mirror-like coating to refer like sunlight back to earth. according to key person both the location and brightness of the human-made moon can be changed and it can even be completely shut off if necessary.
The satellite can also assist in disaster relief by beaming light on areas that have lost power. the first of these man-made moons will launch by 2020 with three more to follow in 2022 if the first test goes well.
The lunar project aims to cut down the cost of street lights in China’s bustling cities by lighting up just 50 square kilometres of Chengdu night sky the fake moon could save Chengdu which has a population of 14.5 million and estimated hundred 174 million dollars each year.
The Pitfalls Of Chinese Moon In Sky
If first fake moon will successful the three follow-up moons will be able to light up 3600-6400 square kilometres for up to 24 hours. while the satellite boasts of the advantage of human control many experts believe the light reflected from space could have adverse environmental effects including severe light Pollution.
- It is also likely to affect the daily routine of nocturnal animals and also interfere with astronomical observations. the launch and maintenance of the satellites will be an expensive task. it will also be a huge challenge to assemble it in Orbit.
- Experts believe that it is highly unlikely for the fake moon to last for a longer period. it is also unclear whether the area has the official nod of the Chinese government.
- The idea of the artificial moon came from a French artist who imagined hanging and necklace made of mirrors above the earth, which could reflect Sunshine through the streets of Paris.
- China is not the first country to try beaming sunlight back to earth. in 1920 a German physicist name Herman Oberth proposed the idea of using a space-based mirror to reflect light to earth but the plant field.
- In 1993, Russian scientist reportedly uses joint Mirrors to reflect light from space in an experimental projects call Znamya. Znamya briefly beamed spot of light about 5 km in diameter to earth that was two to three times as bright as the moon but the mirror burned up as it re-entered Earth atmosphere.
Fake Moon Challenges
The real moon orbits on average about 3 lakh 80 thousand km above the earth. Chinese media reports said testing had begun on the satellite years ago and the technology has now involved enough to allow for the launch of an artificial moon in 2020.
- If the experiment proved successful to more such moons could be centre by 2022. While the first fake mood will be most experimental, the others expected to be launched in 2022 will have great Civic and commercial potential.
- Experts say scientifically the idea is viable but in order to serve its purpose, the fake moon would have to be permanently in Orbit over Chengdu. this means it would have to be in geostationary Orbit about 37000 kilometres from the earth.
- Missing the angle of reflection by even if a degree is would miss Chengdu by Miles for that they must be ample glow to replace the street light. If glow covers a large area, it could potentially daily cycle of animal and plants, affect the human body clock.
- Concerns have already been raised in China about the impact and artificial moon would have on the environment. while some say dusk-like-glow the fake moon will confuse nocturnal animals. others argue that many cities in China already suffer from Light Pollution. Research shows Light pollution affect human health and the patterns of wildlife badly. it affects human sleep, making them prone to diseases like obesity, depression and even cancer.
- Plants life stages also get disrupted, on the whole, these changes alter the entire ecosystem. Besides the artificial moon would also create problems for Chengdu’s residents who will be unable to screen out the unwanted like.
China In Space
From Building its own Space Station to capturing an asteroid and putting it in Orbit around the moon. China has several ambitious plans for space. China is focused on becoming one of the biggest countries in space exploration by the year 2030. let’s take a look at China’s future space programs and also the few failures from its past.
- It is no secret that China’s growth in the past few decades has been reflected in the space Sector as well. some of the countries achievements include the development of the Long March rocket family, the deployment of the first Space Station and the Chinese lunar exploration program.
- China is quickly becoming one of the most ambitious and pioneering Nations when it comes to exploring space and by 2030 it wants to be one of the major space powers of the world.
- Currently, China is forced to do something which neither Russia know the US or any other country has ever done. China is planning to Land Rover on the Dark Side of The Moon. the plan is to study the geology of the moon far side.
- In December this year, the China National space agency will launch a 2500 pound lander called Chang’e-4. Chang is the Goddess of the moon in Chinese mythology.
- China revealed a plan to capture an asteroid, the idea of taking an asteroid and putting it in orbit around the moon has however mocked by space scientist and other Nations. China proposal to study the chaotic asteroid following in the footsteps of Nasa Rosetta spacecraft.
- The plans to launch the spacecraft in November 2021, while the manoeuver will occur in August 2025. asteroids are important for a few reasons as your thought to have formed billions of years ago from rock that also became the precursor to the Rocky planets. asteroids may contain hints of how life came about but they also carry the potential to destroy it.
- China has said that this mission will be a stepping stone towards landing people on the moon and eventually sending an unmanned mission to Mars. Just like the US or Russia, China to believe that the future of human life on Mars. China’s interest in Mars began in 2009 in partnership with Russia. When Russian spacecraft carrying a Chinese orbiter crash in 2011, China began its own mission. now the nation is planning to send an orbital Lander and Rover to the red planet by 2020.
- China also plans to build its own space station. The first part of the Chinese large modular space station expected to go into orbit in 2019. The space station will host three crew members. Tiangong-1 was launched in 2011 but it failed.