The China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) is the main contractor for the Chinese space program. It is state-owned and has a number of subordinate entities which design, develop and manufacture a range of spacecraft, launch vehicles, strategic and tactical missile systems, and ground equipment. It was officially established in July 1999 as part of a Chinese government reform drive, having previously been one part of the former China Aerospace Corporation. Various incarnations of the program date back to 1956.
This is the second crewed mission for China's Shenzhou program. Shenzhou-6 began its mission by carrying astronauts Fei Junlong and Nie Haisheng into low Earth orbit. During their mission, astronauts conducted scientific experiments, which mainly had to do with how human body responds to spaceflight. After almost 5 days in orbit Shenzhou-6 deorbited and landed back safely on Earth on 16 October.