A day in the Aerospace Centre, China:
Man 1: So what’s new today? I am getting bored.
Man 2: I am bored too.
Man 1: How about creating an artificial moon?
Man 2: Good idea! Let’s do it.
China never fails to surprise. No wonder it is known as the home of innovation and technology!
The chairman of a private space contractor in Chengdu, China, recently revealed plans to launch an “artificial moon”, an illumination satellite which will be eight times as bright as the real moon. They also said that it will be capable of replacing streetlights and save a lot of energy. It would be able to cover an area with a diameter of 10-80 kilometers.
This idea was proposed long back and is under construction for years. Thanks to the recent advancements in science and technology, the satellite is planned to be launched in 2020.
While the idea of a bright artificial moon up in the sky definitely sounds amazing, it also worries people in China. People on various social media platforms are asking if the artificial light would affect the human life, if the sleeping patterns would change and most importantly if it will affect the animals and the ecosystem.
While many argue that the light emanating from the artificial moon would be enough to replace street lights, many say that it will only be one-fifth of the light produced by the conventional streetlights. “Animals won’t be affected much as it will only appear as a dusky ball of glow at night”, said Kang Weimin, a director at the School of Aerospace at the Harbin Institute of Technology. So, if the light won’t have much intensity then the question is: What’s the use of another moon?
The idea looks more to have been adopted from a science fiction movie, isn’t?
Nothing is clear regarding the cost and size of the satellite. China refused to talk further on the issue as various scientists around the world were skeptic about the idea and raised serious concerns about the viability and effects of the idea on the environment.
Whatever the result of the experiments may be, China is all set to give some major space goals to the entire world.