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China to launch an 'artificial moon' into orbit by 2020

By Cal Jeffrey · 38 replies
Oct 19, 2018
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  1. Engineers in Chengdu are preparing “illumination satellites” to be launched into orbit, noted state-run media outlet People’s Daily on Friday. The first will launch from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan, China in 2020. If successful, three more will follow in 2022. Development and testing of the satellites started several years ago but has only been finalized recently.

    Wu Chunfeng, head of Tian Fu New Area Science Society, the organization responsible for the project says, once the project is complete the man-made moon will be eight-times brighter than the Moon. The luminosity should be enough to replace the streetlights in the 14,300-square-kilometer city of Chengdu.

    According to engineers at the Chengdu Aerospace Science and Technology Microelectronics System Research Institute, Earth-based operators of the moon will have very precise control over the illumination. The radius of the reflected light will be adjustable from between 10 to 80 kilometers and can be directed to specific locations within a few dozen meters of accuracy. The city of Chengdu will be the moon’s primary focus.

    All that is known about the satellites' functionality is that each will have a set of “wings” coated with a highly reflective material. These panels will be adjustable from the ground. The faux moon should easily be visible in China and other locations as a very bright star.

    No further details of the spacecraft were released, and a specific launch date has not been announced other than sometime in 2020.

    This is not the first time such an idea has been tried. In February 1999, Russia attempted to mount a giant 25-meter mirror on the Mir space station. However, the folding umbrella-like mirror got tangled with an antenna and was ruined.

    Permalink to story.

    Last edited: Oct 19, 2018
  2. Xclusiveitalian

    Xclusiveitalian TS Evangelist Posts: 777   +146

    If it is made with cheap Chinese parts, this is a huge disaster waiting to happen.
  3. Commies are going to do commie things....like take massive risks to replace streetlights.
  4. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 4,296   +2,755

    Will this not mess up photosynthesis of all the vegetation?
  5. Reachable

    Reachable TS Evangelist Posts: 362   +173

    First, being picky: Chengdu is 14300 square kilometers, not meters (of course).

    If this thing is visible anywhere other than where its intended to be useful then there's going to be resistance. Otherwise it's a clever idea. I haven't read the linked-to article yet, but I'll believe it when I (hopefully don't) see it.
    Reehahs and Cal Jeffrey like this.
  6. Nima304

    Nima304 TS Evangelist Posts: 377   +111

    Uh, what?
    qking likes this.
  7. Ted Ingersol

    Ted Ingersol TS Rookie

    Mr. Burns from The Simpsons, blocking out the sun, so everyone uses more electricity comes to mind.
  8. toooooot

    toooooot TS Evangelist Posts: 690   +331

    I have read about Russians using Chinese parts for their satellites and the results were not very good--short life and things breaking often. I suggest that before they do that, they should first steal the technologies that will allow to build top quality space equipment and then proceed with their plans.
  9. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,536   +1,912

    So much for dark skies in this region.

    Maybe. It might mess up migrating birds and/or other critters, too.
    Wendig0, gibbstar and JaredTheDragon like this.
  10. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 1,808   +1,325

    So it's just one giant lightbulb.
  11. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,399   +431

    Any argument against it could be also be made against pollution.
  12. c7p89

    c7p89 TS Member

    Just what we need more junk floating around up there.
    wiyosaya likes this.
  13. HyPeroxya

    HyPeroxya TS Enthusiast Posts: 70   +8

    Sounds very Plausible , but maybe they can focus that light to an even smaller area LIKE THE WHITE HOUSE. Imagine that going up in flames, just like those Ants you tortured when you were young.... It could have many uses maybe to help with forest fires , escaped convicts, natural (&unnatural) disasters , even enhanced solar power. The cappies wont like it.
  14. MaikuTech

    MaikuTech TS Evangelist Posts: 1,028   +175

    Nah chinese have finally taken a liken to Dragon Ball Z. =/
  15. gibbstar

    gibbstar TS Enthusiast Posts: 36   +10

    Yeah, all the poor nocturnal animals! But China has a long history of f’ing with wildlife, so not surprising.
    Reehahs and VitalyT like this.
  16. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 4,991   +3,404

    "The controllable moon could also be useful during disasters and blackout situations." AND even more useful in weapons strikes, surveillance, and if properly shielded and packed with highly contaminated waste - the worlds largest dirty bomb!
    ShObiT likes this.
  17. Faplyboy

    Faplyboy TS Member Posts: 33

    Explain me how will they send soucha big circle in the space since it has to be extremely big to give enough light for whole city or town.
  18. Reehahs

    Reehahs TS Guru Posts: 723   +460

    What wild life? Didn't everything get eaten during the revolutions?
  19. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 4,296   +2,755

    So there will be Chinese moonshine everywhere.
  20. dj2017

    dj2017 TS Addict Posts: 150   +142

    Leaving in a town where light never goes off. People's minds will go bananas.
  21. Abraka

    Abraka TS Addict Posts: 176   +54

    Can't believe I'm reading so many negative comments.
    Are you all jealous?

    If the United States did this, it would be like: "Amazing project, very ecological project to save energy, it could be reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the long run". This is freaking solar energy. Isn't everyone and his grandma swearing on solar energy? Well, this is it.

    But since China is working on it, I read only negative, very stupid comments from butthurt people. Jealousy coming out from all pores. Incredible.
    ShObiT likes this.
  22. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,536   +1,912

    The current administration in the US has declared that there is no such thing as greenhouse gasses. What planet are you from anyway?
    Reehahs likes this.
  23. vincentyu

    vincentyu TS Booster Posts: 32   +12

    Fake news!
  24. Yes, many lemmings in the U.S. would love it.
  25. China will have to go ahead and deploy first, to see why it was such a bad idea. Screwing with the environment to such a great deal. Light has more affect on us than many realize.

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