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In 1958, Chairman Mao Zedong stated that "we too should produce man-made satellites" which sounded the clarion call for China to march towards the development of aerospace industry. In the mid 1960s the Chinese Government decided to design, produce and launch China's first artificial satellite to realize Chairman Mao's call.

The LM-1 booster successfully launched China's first artificial satellite, which fulfilled the great space plan to "develop nuclear bombs, missiles and satellites". China launched its first satellite - Dong Fang Hong (the East is Red) -on 24 April 1970 from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. The spacecraft, with a mass of 173 kg was, heavier than the combined weights of the first satellites of the United States, Soviet Union, United Kingdom and France.

Dong Fang Hong broadcast the melody, Dong Fang Hong (the East is Red). The electronic musical note generator repeatedly broadcasts "East Is Red" through the 20MHz short wave. This traditional Chinese folk tune was given a new set of lyrics extolling Mao Zedong and the Chinese Communist Party. Heard daily in contemporary China, the song was regarded by Chinese citizens as an emblem of the Communist government, much as The Star Spangled Banner sybolizes the United States.

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