On April 24, 1970, China became the fifth country to independently launch a satellite into orbit. Dongfang Hong was the first orbiter in the series of satellites launched by China under the Dongfanghong space satellite program. This satellite was launched by the Long March I rocket.
The name Dong Fang Hong translates to “Red East”. The satellite was also named after a Chinese song in honor of Chairman Mao and was the unofficial national anthem of China during the communist revolution in the 1960s. This song was broadcast for twenty days through this satellite and radio transmitter.
The success of Dongfang Hong I made China the fifth country to launch a satellite on an indigenous rocket, after the Soviet Union, the United States, France and Japan.