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Whenever astronauts eventually return to the moon or explore the surface of Mars, they’ll need plenty of resources to sustain them while away from Earth.

A prototype interplanetary mining rover visited the NASA Glenn Research Center last week as part of the space agency’s effort to prepare for such trips.

“We are very convinced that the only way to make space travel for humans and robots long-term is to use natural resources wherever we go,” said Kurt Sacksteder, director of Glenn’s Space Environment and Experiments Branch.

Might as well bring shiploads of increasingly rare rare earth metals back to Earth while they're at it. To the rest of the article, click here.