NASA satellite breaks from orbit around Earth, heads to moon

  • Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket waits on the launch pad on the Mahia peninsula in New Zealand on June 28. NASA wants to experiment with a new orbit around the moon which it hopes to use in the coming years to once again land astronauts on the lunar surface. (Rocket Lab via AP)

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — A satellite the size of a microwave oven successfully broke free from its orbit around Earth on Monday and is headed toward the moon, the latest step in NASA’s plan to land astronauts on the lunar surface again.