Development started in January 1965 as the Seventh Ministry of Machinery Industry issued a design task. The two stage liquid fueled DF-4 was modified by adding a third stage in order to make it to the desired orbit. Long March 1's second flight launched China's first satellite Dong Fang Hong 1 to space on April 24, 1970. The rocket was operational during 1970–1971. Wang Xiji was the chief designer of the rocket.