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Larry Page's asteroid-mining firm launches its first satellite in July

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Planetary Resources hasn't had much success getting its asteroid-mining business off the ground, in a very literal sense -- it lost its first satellite, Arkyd-3, in the Antares rocket explosion last year. It's about to get a second try, though. The Larry Page-backed company has announced that its craft's follow-up, Arkyd 3 Reflight (aka Arkyd 3R), is scheduled to launch from the International Space Station in July. While the vehicle will spend just 90 days sending self-diagnostic info before it falls to Earth, it'll serve as a useful test run before the more ambitious Arkyd 6 starts wielding its scientific instruments in December. No, this isn't the long-promised space telescope, but it's an important early step.

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