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.
The BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) is a Chinese satellite navigation system. It consists of two separate satellite constellations â€“ a limited test system that has been operating since 2000, and a full-scale global navigation system that is currently under construction. Beidou-3 are the third generation navigation satellites which are launched into medium Earth orbit.