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.