n the latest completely bonkers idea to come out of China, the city of Chengdu is apparently planning to launch an “artificial moon” which would effectively make street lights obsolete.
The planned “illumination satellite” would be sent up into space to “complement the moon at night” by shining eight times as bright, reports the People’s Daily. The state media outlet claims that the fake moon would be able to light up an area with a diameter of 10 to 80 kilometers with officials on the ground able to focus all that the illumination on Chengdu.
With an ultra-bright full moon each and every night, the city would then be in for serious savings on their monthly electric bills, or at least that appears to be the rationale for the ambitious project.
This info all comes via Wu Chunfeng, the chairman of Chengdu Aerospace Science and Technology Microelectronics System Research Institute Co., who spoke last week at an innovation and entrepreneurship conference in Chengdu. Wu said that his company has been working on developing and building an “artificial moon” for years and that the technology is now finally mature enough to shoot for a 2020 launch.
State media reports were quick to dispel any potential worries about what sort of damage the project could do to the environment, quoting an expert as explaining that the light of the satellite would be “similar to a dusk-like glow” and so should not throw off animals’ routines.
It’s not clear exactly how this thing would work or if any government officials have actually signed off on the artificial moon launch, however, there may be one surefire way to get this pie in the sky:
— The Relevant Organs (@relevantorgans) October 17, 2018