In China want to launch an “artificial moon” for lighting the city streets

The city of Chengdu in southwest China can refuse from the street lights in favor of an artificial satellite in earth orbit.

The city of Chengdu in southwest China can refuse from the street lights in favor of an artificial satellite in earth orbit.

The city of Chengdu in southwest China can refuse from the street lights in favor of an artificial satellite in earth orbit.
How does it work?

New light source will complement the moon in the night sky and will be eight times brighter natural satellite. He will be able to cover the region with a diameter of from 10 to 80 kilometers, and the range can be adjusted with an accuracy of tens of meters. The development of the Chinese Corporation aerospace science and technology (CASC) is tested for several years. The launch will take place at the Xichang launch site in roughly 2020.

The satellite will install a huge mirror, reflecting sunlight. The idea is not new — in the experiment “Banner 2” in 1992, Russian scientists unfurled in space, a 20-metre solar sail. He created 8-km-long bright spot is swept over Europe at the speed of 8 kilometers per second. Alas, after the failed launch of the second unit in 1999, funding for the project ceased.

To “artificial moon” was constantly above the city, the CASC will have to find a geosynchronous orbit.
How it is beneficial?

According to preliminary estimates, the innovative system will allow you to save on street lighting to $170 000 per year. But given the cost of rocket launches (from tens to hundreds of millions of dollars), it will be rather a demonstration of the achievements of the space programs of China, rather than economically expedient solution.

According to the authors, the soft light of an artificial satellite should not disturb nocturnal animals.

Sources: The Guardian, Baidu