Around 2020, the Tian Fu New Area Science Society is planning to launch an artificial moon to light up the night sky. Shining eight times brighter than the actual moon, this ”fake moon” is designed to replace street lights in urban areas. No electricity is needed because the artificial moon reflects real sunlight because of its mirror-like coating. If everything goes to plan, three more moons will be launched into the sky by 2022.
Like mentioned before the artificial moon could replace street lights. Another function the fake moon has is to be a help during disaster situations like a power failure. The brightness of the fake moon can be changed and it can even be shut off completely. If this could work it would be such a cool way to reduce electricity consumption. And I’m actually quite surprised that we come with something like this just now. Why didn’t think anyone of these before?
Lighting up just 31 square miles (50 square kilometers) of Chengdu’s night sky, the mini-moon could save around 1.2 billion yuan ($174 million) each year. With the three moons following up in the future a bigger surface can be covered in light. The different moons will take turns depending on which one is able to reflect sunlight due to its position. Working together, they’ll be able to light up 2,000 to 4,000 square miles (3,600 to 6,400 square kilometers) for up to 24 hours.
It might not work
According to some reachers the launch of an artificial moon like this could never work out. Why? Because a satellite flying low enough to reflect that much light isn’t able to stay in one place. You could keep the artificial moon in place with rocket thrusters, according to Iain Boyd, an aerospace engineering professor at the University of Michigan, but that would need to much fuel and requires constant refuelling. But I like to stay positive. Maybe it isn’t possible now, but it will be in a few years. I think this could be an option if we want to reduce our electricity consuming. And of course having three moons in the sky would look pretty cool.