Chinese Government Plans To Launch New Moon Into Orbit

When one moon just will not do.

(Getty Images)

China is reportedly planning to launch an 'artificial moon' in the next couple of years, designed to light up the night sky over the country.

And when I say launch, I mean LAUNCH!  The mini-moon will be launched over 300 miles above Earth's surface, and could shine 8x brighter than the actual Moon.  

Location-wise, the new moon will hang over Chengdu, the capital of China’s southwestern Sichuan province.

The 'artificial moon' itself will have a reflective coating and mirrors to reflect sunlight back to Earth - but this moon's light can be focused to light up specific areas.  

Officials say it could conserve energy by replacing streetlights, thereby saving 1.2 billion yuan ($173 million) in costs annually and provide emergency lighting in cases of natural disasters and blackouts.

The new moon is expected to launch in 2020.  If it's successful, three more could be launched by 2022.

Read more about the new moons over at Time.

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