Iran on Monday said it will be sending monkey into space next month, the latest advancement in its space program.

Five monkeys were undergoing tests before one of them is selected for the flight on board a Kavoshgar-5 rocket, the official IRNA news agency quoted the head of Iran’s Space Agency on Monday.

Last year in August President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran planned to send a man into space by 2017.

Last week, Rasad 1, Iran’s second domestically built satellite into orbit was launched. Iran said that the satellite was launched for transmitting images and weather forecasts.

Iran is not the first country to send animals into space. Before humans, several animals were sent into space.

Albert, a Rhesus Monkey, was the first ever monkey astronaut, who was sent by NASA on June 11, 1948, on a V2 rocket. Albert died in the rocket due to suffocation.

Albert was followed by Albert II, Albert III and Albert IV. Albert II survived in the rocket but died on June 14, 1949 after a parachute failure. Albert II became the first monkey in space.

Below is the link when Monkeys Able and Baker became the first monkeys to survive spaceflight: