First Chinese Satellite Gathers Information Plays Maoist June
The People's Republic of China successfully launched and orbited its first satellite last Friday.
The 380 pound vehicle, which is now circling the earth every 114 minutes, is "continually sending back various kinds of data" and also broadcasts the Peking Opera recording of "The East Is Red." according to Hsinhua, the Chinese government's news agency.
The event makes China the fifth nation after the Soviet Union the U. S., France, and Japan-to launch a rocket capable of placing a satellite in orbit.
It also signifies that China now has an intercontinental delivery system for nuclear warheads.
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Hsinhua stated that the satellite was relaying 40 seconds of music, ten seconds of data, and ten seconds of silence during each minute in orbit.
The first lines of "The East Is Red" are: "The East is red. The sun has risen China has given birth to Mao Tse-Tung."
Officials of the National Aeronauties and Space Administration (NASA) acknowledged the existence of the Chinese satellite soon after the announcement of its launching and stated that they were watching its progress closely.