Last month's unprecedented encounters with foreign bodies from space, one a predicted miss and the other an unexpected direct hit,  prompted Congress to approach NASA, the Air Force, and the White House to learn what they're doing to prepare for imminent impacts from near-Earth asteroids and their ilk.

NASA's response, made by Space Agency chief Charles Bolden, hardly instills confidence. "The answer to you is, 'if it's coming in three weeks, pray." Bolden elaborated further, saying "The reason I can't do anything in the next three weeks is because for decades we have put it off."

Bolden refers to NASA's lack of funding for a directive issued them by Congress in 2005, which was to detect, track and characterize 90 percent of these space rocks —those near-Earth asteroids larger than 87 miles. Bolden criticized lawmakers for miring NASA's efforts with budget cuts. "You all told us to do something, and between the administration and the Congress, the bottom line is the funding did not come," Bolden said.

Bolden's forecast for preparation and possible protective measures agains future impacts was grim. "Our estimate right now is at the present budget levels it will be 2030 before we're able to reach the 90 percent level as prescribed by Congress." To read more, including the responses of lawmakers and military officials to Bolden's statements, visit