An employee from NASA revealed that almost nothing can be done to prevent a wide-scale impact event caused by a massive asteroid strike. According to the employee, the U.S. government would feel as helpless as the people of Earth when it comes to addressing the catastrophic event.

Robert Frost, an instructor and flight controller for NASA, made the revelation through a post on Quora after answering a question regarding Earth’s response to an upcoming asteroid impact.

He noted that in movies about asteroid strikes such as “Armageddon” and “Deep Impact,” the government oftentimes keep details of the catastrophic events a secret to the public to avoid mass panic. In reality, however, things would be different.

“Movies tell us they would keep it secret,” Frost wrote. “There’s a lot of sense to that. “Mass panic can be more dangerous than the actual event. But my experience working in government is that the government really isn’t good at keeping anything secret unless it begins within a secretive part of the culture, like the military.”

Frost noted that if an Earth-ending asteroid is approaching the planet, the government would not be able to keep it a secret since it would most likely be discovered by astronomers working in the private sector.

Unfortunately, if Earth really is on the brink of experiencing a major impact event, neither NASA nor the government will be able to come up with a concrete solution to prevent it.

“Feeling helpless, the government would likely just tell us to ‘hunker down’ and duct tape our window seams,” Frost said.

Similar to Frost’s answer, NASA admitted that preventing an impact event is a near-impossible feat. Although there have been reports regarding the space agency’s future plans of shooting down an asteroid before it enters Earth’s atmosphere, NASA noted that no weapon system that is capable of doing so currently exists.

“An asteroid on a trajectory to impact Earth could not be shot down in the last few minutes or even hours before impact,” NASA stated in the Frequently Asked Questions page of its Planetary Defense Coordination Office website.

“No known weapon system could stop the mass because of the velocity at which it travels – an average of 12 miles per second.”