China is all set to launch an artificial moon into the night sky above Sichuan province’s capital of Chengdu in 2020 with the aim to replace street lights, according to Wu Chunfeng, chairman of space contractor Chengdu Aerospace Science and Technology Microelectronics System Research Institute Co (CASC).
As per reports, the project was the idea of a French artist, who imagined placing a row of mirrors on the Earth to reflect the sunlight on the streets of Paris all year round. The idea was unveiled at a national technology event on Oct. 10 in Chengdu, however, it has been in testing for years prior to the announcement.
The plan to replace the street light has not been unanimously welcomed. Citizens living in the area expressed concerns about the impact a constant full moon could have on the daily routine of animals and astronomical observation.
Kang Weimin, director of the Institute of Optics, School of Aerospace at the Harbin Institute of Technology, played down their worries, arguing the light of the satellite will be similar to a dusk-like glow, so it should not create any negative effects. No specifics about the launch date or the satellite were released with the announcement.