NASA say the 'Space Parasol' now positioned seven million miles above the world between Sun and Earth and designed to shield the planet from increasingly harmful solar flares will soon be ready for testing.
Current plans are to begin the testing of the parasol on 29th April this year.
The parasol shield - to be opened electronically from Florida's Kennedy Space Center whenever the solar flares are deemed to be dangerous 'needs to be tested in order to ensure that it's been positioned at a location where it can cast a sufficiently big enough shadow onto our planet if or when necessary'.
"The space parasol is about the same size as those found in pub gardens" explained a NASA spokesman "The shadow cast from even a small parasol when so many millions of miles above Earth is so wide anyway that it only needs to be quite small. Often we'll only need to open it partly and not plunge the planet into darkness during what would normally be daytime. But we need to test it out fully first. "
For Britain the testing of the space parasol will mean we'll enter a period of twilight at 11. 30am on the 29th April becoming ncreasingly darker until experiencing thirty minutes of total eclipse (12. 10pm - 1. 32pm) then twilight again until a total return to daylight by about 3. 30pm. The government will be making a decision within the next few weeks whether or not to ban motorists from driving during those times.