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 Shenzhou 12 spacecraft will dock autonomously to the forward port of the Tianhe module of the new Chinese Space Station. It will bring the first crew consisting of commander Nie Haisheng and operators Liu Boming and Tang Hongbo.