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.
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.