Recently, China presented a strange space launch plan, which is the world's largest lightweight globe. The southwestern Chinese city of Chengdu is about to launch a fake Moon into an orbit 500 km above the Earth. This bold step can save the country more than $ 200 million a year in electricity costs. The project was planned to be completed in 2020. Purpose - to complement the moon at night.
It is assumed that the glow of a fake moon will illuminate the area with a diameter of 10-80 km. The exact range of illumination, controlled within a few tens of meters, will allow the mechanism to be brought up to 8 times the brightness of a real earth satellite. The emitted light would be enough to completely replace the street lights. If it can cover 50 km 2, then it will save $ 240 million on electricity each year. The creators of the project explained that the testing of satellite lighting began many years ago, and the technology has already matured. However, the idea caused concern among the locals, because the glow reflected from space could have a negative impact on the daily life of some animals. But the creators claim that the light will resemble a twilight glow, so no one will interfere. The cost of the project does not yet apply.
Interestingly, a similar project was planned by Russian researchers in 1999. They wanted to use orbital mirrors to illuminate cities in Siberia, hoping to find a cheap alternative to electric lighting. The scheme used the device Banner-2, equipped with a 25-meter mirror to illuminate the 3-mile stretch of land. But during the period of the first orbit, the ship crashed, and the project was suspended.