Roland Piquepaille writes "It is almost certain that a big asteroid will one day land on Earth and provoke a huge catastrophe. This is why hundreds of scientists have attended the Planetary Defense Conference 2007, held this week in Washington, D.C., to try to develop plans to protect the Earth from such an asteroid. All these researchers have lots of ideas, some which look feasible, some not. Some of them want to destroy asteroids with nuclear weapons. Other scientists want to use a robotic tugboat to push a dangerous flying object out of the Earth's path. And others want to send unmanned robots to the asteroid, drill into it and send the debris into space to alter the course of the asteroid. And this is just a sample... Read more for additional details and an illustration showing one of the methods which could be used in the future to modify the orbit of an asteroid before it hits the Earth."