Monkeys paved the way for us to reach the moon and now Russian scientists are hoping the animals will be key to getting a human colony to Mars.

Experts from the Russian Academy Of Science are training four rhesus macaques to travel into space and land on the red planet – although it is unclear if they will also bring them back.

This training, which includes using a joystick and solving puzzles, should make them capable to man a mission within the next two years.

The program launched in the 1980s and is being carried out at the Institute of Biomedical Problems, based at the academy.

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