56541779 story NASA Now Accepting Applications From Companies That Want To Mine the Moon 251 Posted by samzenpus on Monday February 10, 2014 @04:21PM from the getting-some-cheese dept. cold fjord writes "The Verge reports, "NASA is now working with private companies to take the first steps in exploring the moon for valuable resources like helium 3 and rare earth metals. Initial proposals are due tomorrow for the Lunar Cargo Transportation and Landing by Soft Touchdown program (CATALYST). One or more private companies will win a contract to build prospecting robots, the first step toward mining the moon. Final proposals are due on March 17th, 2014. NASA has not said when it will announce the winner."