The authorities of Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, are developing a plan to launch three special satellites that could act as a night star for their city. The logic is extremely simple - space systems will not generate light, but reflect it, working in a passive mode. And this will allow to abandon the expenditure of energy below, on Earth, without depriving people of the important light at night.
According to the calculations, the project looks just amazingly profitable. Electricity costs for the operation of street lamps in 11 million Chengdu reach $ 250 million a year - including due to the large number of cultural sites and lighting around them. But you can also admire the statues and palaces in the moonlight, and for this amount it is easy to build and launch not one, but three satellites at once! And they will work for decades, plus they themselves will become a new attraction.
It is assumed that the satellites will operate on the principle of rotation, replacing each other at night in the sky. The reflectivity of each is such that a spot of light on the earth will be 6-40 km in diameter, and the light is about eight times brighter than that of the real moon during a full moon. This is enough to replace electric lighting in at least the central part of the city, but in fact, the project has an ambitious addition: the ability to control reflected light.
Imagine a situation where a fun festival is taking place in one part of the city, and in the second, people want to sleep in the blessed darkness. Or there is a suffering and it is necessary to provide lighting for farmland for round-the-clock harvest. By moving the spot of reflected light, there will be many benefits on the ground, including the provision of commercial services. Chengdu emphasizes that this is their local project, which they are ready to implement at the expense of the city budget. It is possible that they will appear in the sky as early as 2020.