The Los Alamos National Lab is studying how to deflect asteroids out of their orbital paths by crashing a spacecraft into it. This testing is being done to learn how to prevent an asteroid strike against Earth. A spacecraft named DART will be tested on asteroid Didymoon to see if crashing the spacecraft into it will move it out of the Didymoon system. This action is known as a kinetic impactor technique. The 500 kilogram spacecraft will strike the asteroid at 6 kilometers per second which should change its orbit less than 1%. The mission launch will occur between late 2020 and May 2021. "DART would be NASA's first mission to demonstrate what's known as the kinetic impactor technique -- striking the asteroid to shift its orbit -- to defend against a potential future asteroid impact," said Lindley Johnson, planetary defense officer at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "This approval step advances the project toward an historic test with a non-threatening small asteroid."