Tehran, Jan 16 (IANS) Iran will send several monkeys into space on the Pishgam (Pioneer) space capsule in the near future, a top official has said.
Hamid Fazeli, director of the Iran Space Agency, said the space capsule has gone through final tests and is ready for launch, Xinhua reported citing the Tehran Times daily.
The capsule will be launched during the 10-day "dawn ceremonies" Jan 31-Feb 10 to mark the anniversary of the Islamic revolution in 1979, he said.
The plan to send other living creatures into space is part of the same project to send man to space, Fazeli said.
The project will be carried out over the course of five to eight years, he said.
In December 2012, Defence Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi said Iran would unveil new space achievements Feb 2, 2013, observed as the country's Space Technology Day.
Iran, a founding member of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, launched its first domestically-made data-processing satellite Omid (Hope) into space in 2009.
more in Fwire