A similar project was unveiled by Russian Federation in the 1990s, with the launch of a solar reflecting system - a "space mirror" - meant to produce light "equivalent to three to five full moons" covering an area approximately 3 miles (5 kilometers) in diameter, the New York Times reported in 1993.
The illumination on the ground would be about eight times what you would expect from the actual Moon, Chunfeng says. The People's Daily sought to reassure readers by citing a Communist Party official who "explained that the light of the satellite is similar to a dusk-like glow, so it should not affect animals' routines".
A Chinese city is exhausted of relying on electricity and the regular old moon to provide lights around town at night.
The man-made moon is essentially an illumination satellite created to complement the moon at night, though it is predicted to be eight times brighter, the scientist added.
The newspaper cited Wu Chunfeng, chairman of the Chengdu Aerospace Science and Technology Microelectronics System Research Institute Co.
He said the testing of the illumination started years ago and is now ready.
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The project is set to be completed in 2020 and, according to the People's Daily, the artificial moon is "designed to complement the moon at night".
However, Wu stressed that much work still needs to be done, both in terms of scientific feasibility and business models, to tap into the full potential of China's artificial moons.
This is not the first reflective satellite that has been planned.
Some expressed concerns about light pollution and potentially negative impact on animals.
The idea for the project reportedly came from a French artist "who imagined hanging a necklace made of mirrors above the Earth which could reflect sunshine through the streets of Paris all year round". The scheme used a device known as the Znamya 2, which was equipped with a 25-meter mirror to illuminate a three-mile radius of land.