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 third crewed mission for China's Shenzhou program. Shenzhou-7 began its mission by bringing Zhai Zhigang, Liu Boming and Jing Haipeng into low Earth orbit. It was the first Chinese mission to have a three-person crew. During their 3 days in orbit, astronauts performed a number of tasks, including the first Chinese EVA carried out by Zhai Zhingang and Liu Boming. Shenzhou-7 deorbited and landed safely back on Earth on 28 September.