April 24, 1970 – China launches its first satellite
China entered into the space exploration field when it launched its first satellite, Dong Fang Hong I, on April 24th, 1970. China thus became the fifth spacefaring nation.
According to Wikipedia:
Dōng Fāng Hóng I (東方紅一號), also known as China 1, was the People’s Republic of China’s first successful space satellite, launched on April 24, 1970 as part of the PRC’s Dong Fang Hong space satellite program. At 173kg, it was heavier than the first satellites of other countries. The satellite carried a radio transmitter. It broadcast the song of the same name, The East Is Red.
“Dong Fang Hong I” (Red East 1) is China’s first man-made satellite. It was developed under the direction of Qian Xuesen (Tsien Hsue-shen), dean at the Chinese Academy of Space Technology. At the time, a total of five identical satellites were created. The first satellite launched successfully. The academy formulated a “Three Satellite Plan” consisting of “Dong Fang Hong I”, re-entry satellites, and geosynchronous orbit communications satellites. Sun Jia-Dong was responsible for the “Dong Fang Hong I” technology. In 1967 Dang Hongxin chose a copper antenna membrane that resolved the difficulties of broadcasting on a ultra-short wave antenna between 100ºC and -100ºC. Engineers installed a music player playing The East is Red on the satellite.