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China's First Man-made Satellite

China launched its first satellite Dong Fang Hong I (DFH I) to earth orbit on April 24, 1970, becoming the fifth country in the world to independently launch satellite following the USSR, USA, France and Japan. The 390-lb. electronic ball floated around the earth blaring the patriotic song The East Is Red.

Dong Fang Hong I was sent to the space by China's own "Long March" space rocket. The total mass of the spin stabilized satellite was 173 kg, heavier than the weight of the Soviet Union, US, France and Japan's first satellites added together. It took DFH I 114 minutes to surround the earth one time. Its shape was similar to the American Telstar, a seventy-two-face polyhedron 1 m in diameter. The satellite was spin stabilized during its flight in space.

The successful launch of DFH I laid solid foundation for the development of spaceflight technology in China, fueled the emergence of the country's spaceflight industry and enabled China's technology in this field to keep up with the world pace.

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