updated 3/28/2008 11:58:04 AM ET 2008-03-28T15:58:04

The University of Hawaii at Hilo and the Colorado School of Mines said they will jointly research supporting human life in outer space.

"The number of Hawaii students interested in space exploration is rapidly growing," University of Hawaii at Hilo Chancellor Rose Tseng said in a statement Thursday.

"We welcome the opportunity to be a part of information and education exchanges like this one."

The Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems at the University of Hawaii at Hilo develops technologies to enable humans to sustain life on another plant. It has agreements with NASA to test remote-controlled vehicles and hopes to work with commercial partners.

And the Colorado School of Mines Center for Space Resources —which focuses on how natural resources can meet human survival needs on the moon and Mars — works with Lockheed Martin on producing oxygen from lunar rocks and soil, director Angel Abbud-Madrid said.

Tseng and School of Mines President Bill Scoggins expect to sign an agreement on April 4 to establish the partnership.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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