Washington Post 
Feb 25, 2013
A meteor blast over Russia  is putting new focus on a transatlantic effort to crash a spacecraft into a far-flung asteroid in a bid to prove that incoming objects from space can be knocked from their path.
Researchers from Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory are preparing a decade-long, $350 million project to propel a rocket into the asteroid Didymos as it passes close to Earth. If successful, it would be the first time an asteroid is knocked off course by human intervention.
“There is a science aspect to it and a planetary defense aspect to it,” Andy Cheng, the chief scientist of the physics laboratory in Laurel, said in an interview.
Cheng said he developed a plan for a lower-cost test for smacking an asteroid as a way to revive a shelved European effort. In a sign of the steep odds it faced, the initial European plan was called Don Quijote, named after the fictional Spanish knight who tussled with windmills he thought to be giants.