Friday, October 19, 2018

China to launch ‘new moon’ to replace streetlights - Trending News

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Beijing, October 19, 2018: China is planning to launch its own ‘artificial moon’ by 2020 to replace streetlamps and lower electricity costs in urban areas, state media reported on Friday. Chengdu, a city in southwestern Sichuan province, is developing “illumination satellites” that will shine in tandem with the real moon, but are eight times brighter, according to China Daily.

The first man-made moon will launch from Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in Sichuan, with three more to follow in 2022 if the first test goes well, said Wu Chunfeng, head of Tian Fu New Area Science Society, the organisation responsible for the project. Though the first launch will be experimental, the 2022 satellites “will be the real deal with great civic and commercial potential,” he said in an interview with China Daily.

50 sq km the illumination range of each man-made moon.

8 times brighter it’ll shine than real moon.

2020 is deadline for first launch; 3 more by 2022

Rs.1,247 cr per year power saving target by Chengdu state

In 1990s, Russian scientists used giant mirrors to reflect light from space in experimental project called Znamya or Banner.

China to launch ‘new moon’ to replace streetlights - Trending News

By reflecting light from the sun, the satellites could replace streetlamps in urban areas, saving an estimated 1.2 billion yuan ($170 million or Rs 1,247 crore) a year in electricity costs for Chengdu, if the man-made moons illuminate an area of 50 sq km. The extra-terrestrial source of light could also help rescue efforts in disaster zones during blackouts, he said. Neither Wu nor the Tian Fu New Area Science Society could be contacted to confirm the reports.

As China’s space programme races to catch up with that of the US and Russia, a number of ambitious projects are in the pipeline, including the Chang’e-4 lunar probe — named after the moon goddess in Chinese mythology — which aims to launch later this year. If it succeeds, it will be the first rover to explore the “dark side” of the moon. China is not the first country to try beaming sunlight back to Earth. In the 1990s, Russian scientists reportedly used giant mirrors to reflect light from space in an experimental project called Znamya or Banner.