Iran to Send Monkey Into Space After Ramadan

By Patrick Burke | August 1, 2012 | 5:27 PM EDT

Rhesus monkey. (AP)

( -- The director of the Iranian Space Agency, Hamid Fazeli, announced on Wednesday plans to send a live monkey into space.

“At the moment, launching a spaceship which will carry a monkey is on the agenda and I hope this will be done after the holy month of Ramadan,” said Fazeli.

The Tehran Times and Mehr News reported on Wednesday that a rhesus monkey will board a rocket called Kavoshgar-5 (Explorer-5), where it will be placed into a biological capsule.

Iran plans to launch the rocket and its monkey passenger following the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

In addition to the Kavoshgar-5 rocket, Iran also plans to launch in the coming months its solar powered Fajr 2 (Dawn) satellite, which will be the fourth satellite Iran has sent into orbit.

According to Fazeli, the satellite will be used to take photos of farms and forests, as well as for purposes related to meteorology.

The Fajr satellite will be transported by the Safir-one satellite carrier rocket.