What is this about? Provide sunlight to areas darkened from the aerosol spraying program?
Russian Beacon satellite set to light up the night sky: ‘Artificial star’ would reflect sunlight to illuminate parts of Earth
- Crowdfunding target for next stage of testing has now been reached
- Raised almost 1.8 million rubles (£17,365/$24,235) from 2,322 sponsors
- It will be launched from a Soyuz 2 rocket with help from Roscosmos
- Made of a reflective thin polymer film 20 times thinner than human hair (?)
The launch is scheduled for the summer and is expected to be taken up in a Soyuz 2 rocket, with help from Roscosmos, the Russian space agency.
The team is planning to place the spacecraft in a sun-synchronous orbit 370 miles (600km) above the ground.
This means it will always be in the path of sunlight, so will always be shining at different locations on Earth as it rotates.
The small spacecraft will launch a giant pyramid-shaped solar reflector in orbit.
The reflector is 170 square feet (16 square metres) in size and made of a thin polymer film 20 times thinner than human hair.
The aim of the project is to promote space research in the country, and to make science and engineering more appealing to young Russians.
The satellite itself won’t serve a particular purpose, other than to prove what can be possible in the field.
A previous proposal, which involved attaching a reflective panel of plastic to a cargo ship heading to the Mir space station, was designed to see if orbiting mirrors could illuminate cities or other parts of Earth by reflecting sunlight.
The idea was that the mirrors could extend daylight hours for farmers, for example, reports Ars Technica.
The Mayak project team recently announced it has raised enough money to undergo the next stage of the rocket’s testing.