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China Is Sending A Second “Moon” Into The Space

Moonlight might be romantic, but it’s really not all that useful. At only 1-400,000th the brightness of the Sun, the moon is usually not enough to illuminate the night. Chinese scientists and engineers, however, don’t want the residents of Chengdu to have to settle for the dim glow of Earth’s natural satellite.

the moon

China’s space program has matured rapidly since 2015, and the country plans on doubling the number of launches it conducted in 2017 in the coming years. While this artificial moon project sounds like science fiction, something similar has been attempted before. In 1993, Russia launched its own illumination mechanism, called a space mirror, in an effort to increase the length of the day.

It used a giant sheet of plastic attached to a spacecraft to reflect sunlight back down to Earth. For a moment, the device did direct a beam of light down into Russia, but for people on Earth, it only looked like the bright pulse of a star.