If having one moon is good, then having two moons is twice as good, right?

It’s no secret that China has issues with energy consumption and pollution, and the country has been looking for some innovative solutions to its problems.

We have to imagine the inspiration behind this most recent plan was an engineer looking up at the night sky, seeing the moon, and wondering: “What if we just built another one of those?”

At the 2018 National Mass Innovation and Entrepreneurship held in China’s Chengdu city last week, the space development company China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation announced that in just two years time, they are planning on launching a 10 to 80-kilometer “artificial moon” into space.

▼ That’s no moon… it’s a giant Chinese mirror-satellite!

The artificial moon will be approximately eight times as bright as our current, old-fashioned moon, thanks to its reflective coating that sends sunlight back to Earth. The mirrors covering the artificial moon can also be manually controlled, potentially focusing light on smaller areas to help in emergencies, or shutting off completely if necessary.

For those excited or terrified by the prospect, it seems as though the moon won’t be visible the world over. It will orbit above Chengdu city, 500 kilometers (310 miles) above the Earth, lighting up approximately 50 square kilometers (19 square miles) of the city.

The artificial moon could save the city millions of dollars in electricity costs each year, which could turn into less energy usage, and less pollution.

▼ “Hey everyone! Enjoying some cleaner air down there?”

The artificial moon is the first of three moons scheduled to be put into orbit by 2022. With the three moons powers combined, they could potentially illuminate thousands of square kilometers at a time.

For now though, the 2020 test is only planned to be carried out over an uninhabited desert, to measure its effects. From there, careful steps will have to be taken to make sure it does not interfere with the natural cycles of plants, animals, and humans.

Here’s what Japanese netizens had to say about China’s artificial moon project:

“They’re building a real-life Death Star!”
“I hope our ‘new moon’ doesn’t explode or anything.”
“That’s actually kind of cool. Good work, China.”
“Is there any way this won’t be used for their military though?”
“What a time to be alive.”

What do you think of China’s artificial moon? With China’s tendency toward making incredible things actually happen, like the bus that glides over top of cars, our old pal the moon may just become obsolete in a few years time.

Source: NicoNico News, China Daily via Hachima Kiko
Top image: Pakutaso (Edited by SoraNews24)
Insert images: Pakutaso, GAHAG (Edited by SoraNews24)