In pictures: How to protect Earth from asteroid de...
The ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft isn’t looking for asteroids but rather comets. Specifically the spacecraft, festooned with 25 instruments between its lander and orbiter (including three from NASA), will monitor comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko as it makes its nosedive into, and then climb out of, the inner solar system. Over 16 months, during which old 67P is expected to transform from a small, frozen world into a roiling mass of ice and dust, complete with surface eruptions, mini-earthquakes, basketball-sized, fluffy ice particles and spewing jets of carbon dioxide and cyanide.
In pictures: How to protect Earth from asteroid destruction