Russia is training macaques for a mission to Mars. If Russia succeeds in being the first country to send this mission to Mars, rhesus macaques will be the first living species on Mars.
It was announced quite recently that Russia plans to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars within the decade.
Four rhesus macaques are currently being trained by experts at the Russian Academy Of Science in Moscow. The plan is to send them on a mission to Mars in two years.
Their training lasts for three hours every day. They are being prepared for their flight to Mars that is set to happen in 2017.
As a part of their training, animals learn how to use a joystick, solve math problems and puzzles.
Each time they succeed in completing a certain task they get a sip of juice as a reward.
The purpose of this training is to enable the monkeys to complete these tasks on their own, without any help.
The expert team behind this monkey training program hopes that the monkeys will even be able to teach other monkeys the skills needed to fly the mission. In addition to this, experts hope that the monkeys will be successful in space missions.
NASA, China and Russia have all started the programs which purpose is to reach Mars. However, only one of them can be the first ever mission on Mars.